Estimating Home Maintenance Costs

Home maintenance is an integral and expensive part of homeownership. Every homeowner worth his salt will swear that without proper maintenance of household appliances/ systems, the comforts of his home can be rendered ineffective.

It goes without saying that appliance repairs and replacements are costly. Not to mention the added trouble involved in looking for a trustworthy contractor and getting him to do the repair job at a reasonable price. While unexpected repairs can burn a hole in your pocket, preparing for them in advance may help you lessen the impact of the blow. Let’s see how you can efficiently manage home maintenance costs without hassle.

Home Maintenance Costs

Preparing the maintenance table

Step 1: Identify all the major appliances and systems in your home

The first and foremost step is to make a list of all the appliances and systems in your home. Follow this step by creating a table, you can use an MS Excel Spreadsheet or even a simple paper will do. Make 5 columns, mark the first one as “Item” and fill that column with names of all the appliances you own.

Step 2: Determine the date of manufacture

This is quite crucial. If you have the paperwork relating to the date of purchase like invoice, bills etc, it will be immensely helpful in determining the year in which the appliance was manufactured. Fill the second column with corresponding values of date of manufacture.

Step 3: Determine the life expectancy

Name the next column as “life expectancy”. Fill it in with average expected life spans of every appliance/system.

Step 4: Determine current age & years remaining

In the next column, write down the current age of the appliance. If you don’t know the exact year of manufacture of an appliance, use an estimate.

Deduce the number of years remaining for an appliances from the date of manufacture and the average life expectancy. If,for any component, the value of this field is less than or equal to 5, chances are high that that particular appliance/system may require repairs in the near future.

Step 5: Estimate replacement costs for each appliance

You can do some research online to find out about the cost of new appliances. Fill that out in the next column.

By now your table should look somewhat like this –

Appliance/ System Year of manufacture Life expectancy Current age (‘15) Years remaining
Refrigerator 2002 13 13 0
Dishwasher 2001 9 4 5
Air conditioner 2005 15 10 5
Washing machine 2008 10 7 3
HVAC heater 2000 15 15 0
Water heater 2009 12 6 6

Identifying failure prone appliances/ systems

Any appliance, whose years remaining value is less that 5 is likely to undergo faults and errors more frequently. Shortlist any such appliances and sum up values of their total replacement costs. The amount could be huge or reasonable. If it is huge, it is recommended that you purchase a home warranty plan to ensure budget protection.

Arrive at a conclusion

Once you make a table for every appliance/ system in your house, you will be able to predict which appliances will require repair services in the next 5 years. Avoid focusing on appliances that have more than 5 years remaining.

Look out for expense clusters. For eg, in the above table, both dishwasher and clothes washer have only 4 years remaining, which means they stand a chance to die during the same year. This could lead to an “expense cluster” as you will have to replace two appliances in the same year.

Achieving budget protection

If you feel that you will be encountering multiple appliance repair needs in the near future, we suggest that you invest in some form of appliance protection plan. Ideally, for any homeowner whose appliances or the home itself is over 4 years old, a home warranty is the best bet for budget protection.

These plans offer discounted repairs and replacements services. In most cases, the homeowner only has to pay nominal deductible fee ($40 – $100) for each service incident. Annual premiums for such plans are quite affordable too (around $250 – $500).

Home maintenance does pay off!

Like we said, without proper maintenance, even the best of homes will turn into an almighty mess. As the old saying goes, a stitch in time, saves nine, likewise timely maintenance could save you loads of money on appliance repairs later.

You can go through Home Maintenance Tips to become aware of the steps you can take to keep your home and its appliances healthy. You can also read about various Home Warranty Plans to secure budget protection and peace of mind.






Refrigerator maintenance is a vital part of housekeeping that just cannot be ignored. For people who don’t know the first thing about cleaning a fridge, this guide is just for you!

Is your refrigerator running?  Well, you’d better go catch it!

If you are rolling your eyes then maybe you’re not a fan of old jokes.  That’s forgivable.  But that old joke has a tiny bit of truth to it if you own a home.  Your fridge may be running away from you in terms of the electricity it’s using.

refrigerator maintenance tipsThere are two good reasons to maintain your refrigerator. The first is to keep it running as long as possible, but the second is less obvious. Your home’s monthly electricity costs are directly affected by the way you use and keep up your fridge. It’s easy to forget that, but if you get into a habit of following these tips you will begin to see the savings.

3600 Cleaning

The back of your fridge is almost never seen, but it’s the part most in need of regular cleaning. At least once each month you should pull your fridge away from the wall, preferably without unplugging it, in order to clean the operational parts located near the bottom. The best way to do this is to gently clean the coils and other exposed parts with a vacuum cleaner. But be careful not to press against the parts with the vacuum. Doing so may damage some of the more delicate parts. By keeping these parts clean you can help your fridge to optimize its heat dissipation. And that helps the fridge use less electricity.

Dirt-free Surrounding

Don’t let the areas around or on the door gaskets become dirty or greasy.  Keeping the door gaskets clean will allow for a good, tight seal. And the more air you keep inside the fridge the easier it is for the fridge and freezer to maintain ideal temperatures.

Loading it right

Resist the temptation to carelessly load your fridge. Don’t overload it, but also don’t underfill it. An empty fridge is almost as bad as a fridge that is too full. Either way you’re making the refrigerator work harder in order to stay at a constant temperature. If you are the type to keep lots of food around try to make sure the food is distributed evenly and does not obstruct air flow. If you travel a lot or order food regularly then maybe you have an empty or nearly empty fridge. If that’s you then you can use bottles of water to fill the fridge so it runs more efficiently.

Cool it and cover it!

Avoid putting food straight into the fridge after cooking it. Even if you are preparing food to eat later it’s best to cover it and allow it to cool before refrigerating it. Hot things do not help your fridge stay cool. And uncovered foods are problematic too. Though it might not be as obvious as producing odors or being a spill hazard, uncovered foods make your fridge work harder. Ideally you want to keep the moisture in foods and drinks sealed in and not allow it to become part of the air that the fridge must cool.

Debris free drain pan

If your freezer is frost free then you should have a drain pan underneath the fridge. If you have one down there then it’s very important to keep it free from debris. You don’t want to block the drain or cause spills by allowing the pain to fill up with dust and other junk. The best time to clean it is at the same time when you clean the rear of the fridge.

Don’t fiddle with the thermostat

It’s best to keep the fridge and freezer around 37 degrees Fahrenheit and 0 degrees Fahrenheit respectively. Usually you can do this by leaving the thermostat at its middle setting. Turning the thermostat in the fridge down too low can not only increase electricity usage but can sometimes result in the freezer not staying at a safe temperature.

Defrost Care

If you do not have a frost free freezer then it’s important to regularly remove ice and frost from the inside of the freezer. You don’t need to turn off your fridge in most cases. A nice open container of hot water left inside the closed (and emptied) freezer will usually do the trick.

Dry it when you clean it

When you wipe down the inside of your fridge or freezer try to always dry off the surfaces you clean. And if you use disinfectant cleaners to remove meat or egg drippings then be sure to go back over those surfaces with water in order to not leave chemical residues.

Though your refrigerator may not be using as much electricity as your heating and cooling system it still pays off in the long run to maximize its energy efficiency. And if you love to cook it pays off in other ways. Your food will stay fresher, not to mention taste and smell better, if you make these tips part of your regular routine. You can also go through this guide on How to Conserve Electricity At Home And Cut Energy Bills for more information.

If you are an obsessive cleaner, you may also want to look at this elaborate guide on  refrigerator maintenance. You’ll know exactly what to do with each appliance once you go through this. Good luck!




Home protection plans, commonly known as a Home Warranty or appliance protection plan is a service contract that agrees to offer discounted repairs and replacements of your household appliances. It means that if any of your covered appliances breaks, the home warranty company shall provide you with a qualified technician who will repair your device and cover the cost of repair as well.

Home Protection Plans

Ideally, appliance protection plans are best suited for people who have appliances that are fairly used and above 4 years in age, as this is the time where most of the functional issues arise. It is highly recommended that you purchase a home service contract if any of the following are or all are true.

  • Your appliances are over 4 years
  • You don’t have a trusted service vendor
  • You don’t have time for DIY repairs
  • You are a first time homeowner
  • You can’t afford frequent repairs and replacements

If you were to ask if these plans are worth the money, then we would have to admit that there is no straightforward answer to that. There are quite a lot of happy customers out there who swear that purchasing home warranty was the best decision they ever made and yet there are people who think otherwise. It is up to you to decide if you will benefit from a home protection plan.  If you are in need of more guidance, please read the Home warranty buyer’s guide.

This is how a home warranty works

You purchase the appliance protection plan from a home warranty company for a certain amount of coverage. This coverage could be vast and cover almost all the outside and inside appliances or it could be the basic version. If a device covered by the plan fails to operate properly, you simply place a call to your home service contract provider. They will then call up a service vendor with who they have contracted and tell them about your issue. Service vendor then collects your contact information and contacts you to fix an appointment.

He/she then comes to your home to take a look at the damaged gadget. If the repairs needed are minor, they will oftentimes be fixed on the spot. Major repairs and part replacements need approval from the home warranty company. If parts are to be replaced, the home warranty company shall procure them for you and get the appliance fixed. Sometimes, if the technician determines that the device can’t be repaired, depending on your coverage, the home warranty company may replace your device.

Hence, one can say that the benefits of Home warranty are the following:

  • Discounted repairs and replacements of household appliances
  • Qualified and experienced technicians at your doorstep
  • Protection of your budget against expensive repairs
  • Peace of mind
  • Covers all major appliances and systems.
  • Additional coverage can always be purchased
  • Affordable
  • Covers damages resulting from wear and tear

As mentioned before, there still exists a school of thought that home warranty plans are not worth the money. Hence, we must discuss the drawbacks of these plans.

  • Not free of cost. In addition to the annual premium that ranges anywhere between $250 to $1000, you will have to pay a service call fee each time you raise an issue. The amount is typically nominal, around $50
  • Home warranty companies will almost always try to repair and not replace the damaged gadget.
  • Some may feel that there is no flexibility. You usually cannot select a service vendor of your choice and sometimes conflicts may arise on the diagnosis provided by the vendor.
  • Claims can be denied on vague grounds or by stating fine print from the contract.
  • Pre-existing conditions quite often are not covered

Because of these reasons, we suggest that folks who fall under the following categories, don’t purchase a home warranty. This is only a suggestion, if you believe that you shall benefit from a home warranty plan, you should go ahead with it.

  • Your appliances are fairly new and are still covered by the manufacturer’s warranty.
  • You have a trusted repair vendor.
  • You have time and skill for DIY repairs
  • You have money for frequent repairs

You can consider an extended warranty to protect your new devices. You can read about the differences between home warranty and extended warranty to clear your doubts.

If your devices are new, chances are low that they may need repairs often. Also if they are still covered by the manufacturer’s warranty, any damage will be covered by them, provided it is not an excluded case. And all of this is unnecessary if you are a repair vendor yourself!

The bottom-line

Home warranties can be a great way to protect your budget and your appliances. As mentioned before, if you fall into the former category where your devices are old and so on, we highly recommend that you purchase a home warranty. Otherwise, you can do without one.

A lot of unpleasant instances occur due to lack of understanding of the working of the plan. Hence, we urge you to read the policy booklet and the offer document carefully before you make a commitment. These documents are highly significant and have to be studied and preserved carefully.  If you are certain that you want to purchase appliance warranty, please go through our reviews section to choose the best provider out there. Good luck!




In a quite short period of time, home protection plan have grown considerably in recognition. Today, the plans are almost standard in every city real estate transactions, where 8 of every 10 homes sales are covered. Homeownership can be one of life’s many pleasures, but it’s not always cheap. Most likely the last thing a homebuyer wants to do after closing on their new home is to shell out even more money on appliances or systems that unpredictably break or malfunction. It’s a usual part of being a homeowner, though, and procuring a home warranty protection plan is one way you can attain some peace of mind.

When your appliance breaks down, don’t worry about whom to call to fix it, or what it will cost. There are various options by which you can protect your budget from pricey emergency repairs.

  1. Home Warranties
  2. Extended warranties on expensive appliances
  3. Appliance Service Contracts
  4. Service contract for specific items such as HVAC
  5. Hire a pro when something breaks down

Want to know how home warranty works? Watch this video –

Home Warranties

Home Protection Plan

Home warranty plans, also called home protection plans, are basically service contracts or insurance policies that cover major appliances and systems of a home. It’s a good idea if you are a first time home buyer without any understanding in maintaining a home or property. Homeowners insurance does not cover breakdown of a home’s major systems or appliances, but a home warranty protection plan can help with repair expenses such as refrigerator that stops running, or your air conditioning system breaks down in the middle of the night.

When a breakdown happens that involves a system covered by the home warranty plan, the homeowner calls the insurance firm and desires a service call. The cost of the service call, which ranges from $35 to $95 per visit based on your location, is salaried by the owner. The warranty company allots the call to an approved contractor, and the home protection company shells out for the system repair or replacement.

What parts of a home are covered by a Home Warranty?

Home warranties naturally cover the mechanical systems of a home such as heating, plumbing, water heater and most built-in appliances. Structural components and pre-existing conditions are usually are not covered. For instance, if the water heater hasn’t worked properly for some time, it possibly that it won’t be covered in the buyer’s home warranty plan. Other items which are typically not covered include faucet repairs, sprinklers and permit fees. Some home warranty cover roof repairs and garage door openers with certain limits.

Another common problem with home warranties is that you will not be able to decide the repair provider that will care of your problem while the warranty is in effect. Normally, if a covered item breaks down, you will put notify your home warranty company, which will select a service provider with which it has an agreement.

Additional coverage is accessible under most home warranties at an extra charge for a spa, pool, air conditioning and freestanding appliances, such as washer, refrigerator and dryer.

Coverage usually runs for a year, but it may be extended at the owner’s choice for a renewal fee. Some people keep their home warranty policy in position for years and years. If the home protection plan is ordered at the time a home is bought, inspections are normally not required.

If you don’t want to have to be anxious about repairs in your first year of home ownership, a home warranty may be a good idea. However, it is imperative to weigh up your warranty, to ensure that you will be properly covered.

Know the basics of home warranty.

Extended Warranties Protect Appliances from Expensive Breakdowns

Extended warranties, by providing protection for pricey purchases and increasing the span of a product’s original warranty, have become the standard for many retailers. These warranties often appeal to economical consumers, for whom purchasing big-ticket items like appliances and electronics can be a challenging decision.

An extended warranty or service contract is like an insurance policy – your savings buys off only when the most evil happens. But do you actually want one? These days, almost all the brand – name appliances are sturdily – built and generally last their usual life span with few or no repairs, rendering extended warranties pointless. In case you do choose to get one, ensure that you do your homework.

Buying Extended Warranties on Appliances

Are Extended Warranties For Expensive Appliances Worth It?

There might be instances where an extended warranty is affordably priced and makes up for a limited warranty that covers little ground and has short period of time, and thus, is worth it. But too often, they are a waste of money. Before you purchase an extended warranty, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What are the odds that this appliance will break down in X amount of years,
  • What will the price of a replacement or repairs to this appliance be in X amount of years?

You frequently forget that while your product may certainly break down later on, the price of the product will also depreciate later on. Only when the forecasted cost of replacement or repairs become considerably greater than the present cost of the extended warranty, should one consider buying the extended warranty. And still, a warranty must only be thought out if there is also a significant chance that the appliance will stop working in the first place!

Certainly, warranties are significant and you must always ensure that when you buy pricey appliances – like clothes dryer for example – that it has a warranty to follow with it. But if a salesperson is attempting to get you to buy an additional extended warranty, be doubtful. Think about sales and advertising. There is always an income motive and retailers and merchandisers can regularly make money off consumers when they purchase extended warranties than when they buy replacement products or pay for repairs! This is why third party companies and retail stores provide extended warranties, not the manufacturers.

Think about sales and advertising. There is always a profit motive and retailers and merchandisers can often make more money off of consumers when they buy extended warranties than when they buy replacement products or pay for repairs! This is why retail stores and third-party companies offer extended warranties, not the manufacturers themselves.

The moral of the story is that you must do a little math and significant thinking prior to buying an extended warranty. Possibly it will be a wise purchase, and may be the money will be better used up toward other services or products.

 

Appliance Service Contracts

Appliance Repair Professional

Don’t lose your cool over unforeseen home repairs; call the experts for a home service contract. One such company that provides Service Contract is Service America. Never again will you have to worry yourself with the hassle and high cost of unforeseen repairs.

Service America is protecting its customers from unpredicted air conditioning, appliance and plumbing repairs for over 38 years saving them a ton of money, time and unnecessary frustration. When something breaks down at home, it becomes necessary for you to rush and find the right technician to fix the problem. Many times it’s an urgent situation and you don’t have the comfort of shopping around for the best price. But you can avoid these types of stressful circumstances, save money and experience peace of mind at the same time by buying a Service Contract.

A Service America Service Contract covers all these appliances and services for just one low yearly cost.

Quoting and buying a service contract takes a few minutes but expectantly you will find it effortless. In order to obtain the best possible coverage you need to give basic information about your home.

 

Service Contract for Specific Items such as HVAC

HVAC-Fort-Lauderdale

In the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) industry, equipment servicing is generally headed by the issuance of HVAC service contracts. The key purpose of this is to describe the terms of service as well as the cost, the length of service and what requires to be done, and each package of contracts is exclusive to each type of service. These service contracts incorporate full-coverage, full-labor, preventative-maintenance, inspection contracts, and end-use contracts.

All of these HVAC service contracts cover the tasks of each party, material cost, wages and how to decide arguments with a complete document. The equipment, procedures, tasks, unique descriptions and reports on the precise work to be done ought to be covered as well. Every contract also sketches processes and details the responsibilities of the contractor and owner. Regardless of which contract is signed, there can be several contracts put into practice for the same parties at any given time.

 

 

Hire a Pro When Something Breaks Down

Appliances are a vital component of a well running home, as they are utilized every day. When they stop working, an appliance repair professional is able to restore the item to full working order. Along with repairs, professionals will regularly service your appliances to make sure that they run as safely and efficiently as possible.

Appliance repair professionals can render the following services amongst others:

  • Parts and labor warranty
  • Supply and installation
  • Emergency services
  • Service or repair several brands of appliances
  • Safety checks

While hiring your appliance repair professional, make sure that you get a quote on the work that needs to be performed. Ensure that the quote incorporates the call out fee and the cost of any parts that must be replaced. The professional must also be ready to give assurance of their work for a certain period of time. It’s good idea to investigate several repair pros in your area and pick the one that offers experienced technicians, reasonable prices, and good customer service. Always make sure that the professional is insured and licensed.




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.

Green landscaping

The issues

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:

  • Climate
  • Soil types
  • Remaining supporting ecology
  • Species affinities for the site

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.




Household appliances are mostly large pieces of equipment which cost quite a lot of money. Most homeowners use their appliances until they break down, which is usually a span of 10 – 20 years. However, if you don’t practice caution or do adequate research, you may end up buying a product that does not suit your needs, which causes both financial loss and frustration.

While planning a purchase in advance helps you find the lowest price, it may not always be possible. If your AC breaks down during summer when the heat and the AC unit prices are high you will not have a choice.

We bring you a quick and easy guide to enlighten you about the do’s and don’ts of appliance shopping. Follow this and it will ensure that you will remain happy with your purchase!Appliance Shopping Guide

Step 1: Analyze your needs

You could be someone who is either needing an appliance urgently or you could be someone who expects a certain appliance to crash soon and is looking for replacement. In the first case, you will rush to the closest store or look up online to find one that suits your needs. While doing this, you may ?tend to get sidetracked and forget your actual needs.

Some people buy appliances because they are visually appealing or if it comes at a very low price or if it has attractive freebies. All of this leads to you ending up with an appliance that does not suit your requirements. You’ll probably regret your purchase immediately.

To avoid this, before you start to shop, analyze your requirements. Make a list of the following-

  • What specifications do you need – energy efficient, CFC free etc
  • Decide the size range of the appliance
  • How much are you going to use it
  • Do you want a brand new one or a second hand one
  • What is your budget

Write down the answers on a paper and keep it with you while you shop. If you are merely looking for an exact replacement, write down the model no. and manufacturer’s name and pay a visit to your closest appliance store.

Step 2: Measure the space

Imagine the horror if you buy an appliance and bring it home only to find out that it doesn’t fit where you wanted it to?

To avoid that, measure the space where you plan to keep the appliance. Do it twice to avoid minor errors. Keep the measurements with you while you shop. Once you visit a store, select appliances that match your measurements.

However, if you feel that appliances that come in the size you need do not have the features you require, it’s best to either make space for a larger one or find out if there are used variants of the model you need.

Step 3: Browse several stores

If you wish to get the best price, don’t expect to find it in the first store you look. Visit several shops or websites, if you are purchasing the appliance online and compare prices. Don’t get swayed by the freebies. Most e-commerce websites and shops provide great deals during festive seasons. If you are planning your purchase in advance, Black Friday sales are the best time to buy appliances (or most things, for that matter).

If the requirement is urgent, you’ll have to make do with whatever’s available. Once you zero in on a model, look up online to see who offers the best price.

Step 5: Warranty

It might be a good idea to look an appliance that comes with a warranty. Most products come with a manufacturer’s warranty, but some stores do sell extended warranties for products they sell.

Some stores like, Home Depot and Lowe’s also offer extended warranty for specific appliances. Extended warranties are different from home warranties and are ideal if you need coverage only for a certain appliance which is no longer covered by it’s manufacturer’s warranty.

Step 6: Things to remember while buying used goods

If you are planning to purchase an used appliance, you need to be extra careful. Find out why the appliance is being sold – is it because the owner upgraded or is it because the appliance sustained major breakdowns?

Examine the appliance thoroughly before you make the buy. Also ask for warranty papers and bills. Buying one without the relevant papers may not be a wise step.

The final word

Appliance purchases cost substantial amounts of money. Buying the wrong product will leave you troubled. Make the purchase only after you are convinced that it is the best option.

Hope you enjoyed the article, happy shopping!




Next to the so important health insurance each individual should have, there stands as second in line the home insurance. For homeowners, the home insurance is a specifically well tailored preventive measure any damages should happen to their property. The most important fact before you settle for one certain type of home insurance policy, is to ask yourself which kind of insurance do you actually need.

Home insurance

For example, if you live in a high risk area where floods happen quite often, then you should take an extra option for flood insurance. Certainly because your property lies in a high risk area, the flood insurance for your home is an extra option, it will not be included in the policy, and it will cost more. It is you, who should decide whether you need it or not. Bear in mind that it is not only the physical property which needs protection, but also your personal belongings (i.e. jewelry), and don’t forget about personal liability issues. Find the quickest way to get insurance quotes compared online.

The market offers you plenty of choices, and that is why it is so hard to make a choice. Settle your priorities first, see how much you can afford to pay for the insurance premiums and which are those aspects which definitely need insurance coverage. You have to watch out for the advertisements which offer too high discounts, but little or not effective coverage for you. The points where you can save when buying a home insurance is basically if you apply for one online (can bring you up to 15% savings), there are also certain new buyer discounts, plus if you make no claims for a number of years since you have the insurance, that could lower the price of your insurance with as much as 50% in some cases.

Some of the main coverage factors within a home insurance policy should contain:

  • Buildings cover
  • Contents cover / Contents lost or even damaged when moving
  • Theft from garages
  • Lost/damaged business equipment
  • Alternative accommodation for the insured when needed
  • Food in the freezer / money in the house

Certainly the amounts to which the above mentioned situations are covered for, differs from one insurer to the other, but these should be contained in a standard home insurance plan. As for the extra options you may choose, these are plenty, and each homeowner chooses according to his needs and best interest. On the extra options list you may settle for Accidental Damage, which simply means protection for accidental damage of your stereo equipment for example. Then, the personal possessions cover is yet another extra option, which compensates you for loss of money or credit cards up to a certain coverage

limit, or accidental damage loss or theft of personal items. The family and legal protection extra option will offer coverage for almost any legal costs up to a certain amount, disputes revolving around employment issues, or property and inheritance related ones. Plus, the home emergency option will offer a helping hand in case your door lock breaks, your electrical heating fails, so that you don’t have to worry about the incurring costs a professional would charge for an emergency repair to your home. Check and discus with your family all the available options pertaining to home insurance in general, and settle for the one which is the most affordable and efficient regarding your personal needs.




Recently, there was an interesting review posted at AHS warranty discussions page about dealing with insurance claims. The legal option suggested by the reviewer might be useful to some homeowners, who have difficulties dealing with home warranty insurance claims.

Insurance Claims

It is not practical and cost effective to take legal route to pursue your insurance claims and you may want to read How to pursue insurance claims article before you go that path. However, if you are fighting an insurance claim on a big ticket item, and you have exhausted all other options, this is definitely an effective strategy. Author of this post himself was an attorney and he effectively used the legal threat to beat the home warranty company.

Here is the excerpt:

…………………………………………………………………………………………..

American Home Shield – how to beat home warranty companies at their own game

I have discovered how aggrieved homeowners can turn the tables on home warranty companies and beat them at their own game. Please share this with everyone you know.

I’m an attorney and after having a problem with my home warranty company, American Home Shield, I decided to investigate whether other homeowners had experienced the same or a similar problem. What I found were web sites devoted to consumer complaints on which numerous homeowners had recounted incidents of fraud, deception, and rip-offs by their home warranty company. I also found a blog written by a former American Home Shield employee and another written by a former plumber for a home warranty company. Both recounted situations that would not pass the “smell test” in a court of law.

I also investigated lawsuits that had been filed against American Home Shield in Georgia, which is where I live. I found about 15 cases. The majority of cases had been filed in small claims court. As I reviewed the cases, I discovered that none of the cases had been litigated. In every instance, the case had been settled to the Plaintiff’s satisfaction although the details of each settlement were not part of the case file. With the knowledge that all cases had been settled to the homeowners’ satisfaction, I realized that American Home Shield would settle with an aggrieved homeowner before allowing a case to go to trial. My conclusion is that the only thing aggrieved homeowners need to do to beat home warranty companies at their own game is to file suit. The last thing American Home Shield wants to do is litigate a homeowner’s claim and the reasons are obvious to me.

The most obvious reason American Home Shield would not want to litigate a claim is that in most instances, the cost to American Home Shield to settle a claim would be less than the cost to litigate. The average amount of a claim in the cases I found was $3,800.00. Two were for less than $1,000.00 and only one was for more than $10,000.00. I’m sure far more than the 15 homeowners who have filed lawsuits in Georgia have had their claims denied. American Home Shield wins when a claim is denied and the homeowner does not sue, which is exactly what American Home Shield is counting on homeowners not doing.

Another reason American Home Shield does not want to litigate is because the company does not want to have to defend its craftily drafted contract or its questionable business practices, which is exactly what it would have to do if a case went to trial. American Home Shield also does not want such information to become public knowledge, which is also likely to happen. Additionally, a judge or a jury would also be hard pressed to return a verdict favorable to a company that engages in questionable business practices.

The final reason American Home Shield does not want to litigate is because a lawsuit actually places American Home Shield in a precarious situation. American Home Shield would have a difficult time defending any claim by a homeowner because the company has no first hand knowledge about the claim; it would need the testimony of the service contractor who, for its own reasons, may be less than eager to testify. The only knowledge American Home Shield has is what the company has been told by the service contractor. And any testimony from American Home Shield about what it was told by the service contractor is hearsay and not admissible in court.

To defend a claim, American Home Shield would need to subpoena the service contractor who actually made the diagnosis to testify about the claim. If the homeowner has done his/her homework, he/she would subpoena witnesses who could dispute the witnesses for American Home Shield. The homeowner should subpoena one or more service companies who had been called either for a second opinion or to make the actual repairs to dispute the testimony of the American Home Shield service contractor. The homeowner might also consider locating one or more other aggrieved homeowners to testify about their problem with American Home Shield. Another good witnesses for the homeowner to subpoena would be a former service contractor for the home warranty company or a former employee of a service contractor.

Since American Home Shield has at least three significant reasons why it does not want to litigate, the best and easiest way an aggrieved homeowner can beat American Home Shield at their own game (and most likely any other home warranty company) is to file suit. The one thing for an aggrieved homeowner to keep in mind is that if he/she does not sue, the home warranty company will win. But if he/she sues, the homeowner will most likely win. And that is how an aggrieved homeowner can beat American Home Shield at their own game.

My advice to aggrieved homeowners is not to stress over a denied claim, the denial of a situation as an emergency, repeated “band-aid repairs,” or a delay in authorization or in the repair of an item. I would also advise a homeowner not to waste time arguing with American Home Shield but to set a reasonable deadline for the appropriate action. Upon expiration of the deadline without receiving satisfaction from American Home Shield, the homeowner should then proceed as if they did not have a home warranty and then sue American Home Shield for reimbursement. The homeowner should also remember to document every action or inaction by both himself/herself and American Home Shield. Although the disadvantage to the homeowner is initially having to pay for the repairs, the advantage is that the homeowner can choose the service contractor and the brands and quality of products. I won’t guarantee all aggrieved homeowners will prevail every time but I have good reason to believe most aggrieved homeowners will prevail the majority of time.

For aggrieved homeowners whose claims were denied at sometime in the past, you may still be able to sue for reimbursement. To make that determination, the homeowner needs to research the statute of limitation for suing on a contract in their state. In any event, a homeowner should be safe filing suit for a claim that was denied during the past twelve (12) months.

Within the next six months, instead of reading homeowner’s stories about being scammed and ripped off by their home warranty company, I want to read stories about how homeowners turned the tables and beat their home warranty company at their own game.
If anyone has any questions, I can be contacted at [email protected]

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May 20, 2014: A fast growing home service contract company, Sensible Home Warranty has announced that the company has closed down its operations once and for all. The company, reported to have its main office in New York made the declaration through their website announcing that they were shuttering their services.

“To our loyal customers and dear friends:
It is with great regret that we must notify you that Sensible Home Warranty has shuttered its operations. We wish you all the best of luck and thank you for your years of support.” – read the announcement on the official website of the veteran warranty company.

Growing discontent among customers

For the past several months, customers of Sensible Home Warranty have been reporting instances of displeasure and dissatisfaction with the services they received from the company. Despite the fact that the company has been functioning for more than a half decade, Sensible Home Warranty failed to build a sustainable business.

According to customers, the company repeatedly failed to process claims and provide adequate service. The latest reviews about the company revealed that the company frequently denied claims on vague grounds. It is worth noting that the company had mostly positive reviews in its early years. It is not clear what caused the downfall.

Sensible Home Warranty

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) shows that over 1811 complaints were filed against them during the last 3 years of which 1037 complaints were filed during the last three months. Furthermore, it was revealed that the company had been banned in three states.

Following the announcement of their closing, customers of Sensible Home Warranty have expressed shock and betrayal through various review sites and social media. One irate customer expressed her disappointment and stated that she felt cheated as she had purchased a long term plan from the company. The customer had been trying to contact the company regarding a claim for several weeks when the announcement of the company’s closing came through.

Did Sensible Home Warranty deserve this Fate?

Despite some bad PR around, the company did have a loyal base of satisfied customers who vehemently said that their services were exceptional. Some even expressed their sadness at the news of them closing down. This makes us want to believe that in spite of what the reviews on the internet say about such companies, home warranty is one industry were misunderstandings are common leading to an unpleasant interaction between the companies and their customers. Like many, a company which succumbed to infamy, Sensible too may have been judged badly.

As customers all over the nation reel in shock from the news, the company has requested that customers direct inquiries to [email protected] until further announcements are made. The company has been unavailable for a statement.

UPDATE June 26, 2014: ABC News covered a news story on this topic. According to them, you can collect refunds from the State Dept. of Insurance if you are in Arizona. Other states may or may not have such a provision.

 

What Choices Consumers Have Now?

It is not easy to recover your losses since home warranty companies are loosely regulated. Here are your choices:

  1. Make Sure You Have Adequate Coverage – First and foremost, it is important to make sure your appliances and HVAC units are protected. Since you no longer have the coverage, you should find a reputable home warranty company on our site, request a quote and then buy a home protection plan. Make sure you are covered from day one, by showing them proof of coverage from the now defunct company.
  2. Recover Your Losses – Contact your State Insurance Department and find out if they can recover your costs from the company. Some States do require companies to put down deposits, so if you are lucky, you will be paid from those reserves. The other option you can pursue is to hire a lawyer and go after this company’s assets while the company is still going through the bankruptcy process.

UPDATE 09/26/14:

Here’s an update on this news. The Nevada Division of Insurance is trying to reach out to customers of Sensible Home Warranty in Nevada who have unpaid claims against the company. All customers who fall into this category are requested to file a Proof of Claim form to the organization on or before 26 March, 2014. The Commissioner for Insurance will be evaluating the forms received for granting approval. The Division does not guarantee that a fixed percentage of claims will be paid, they have also stated that the funds available for the program are limited.

For more information, check the Nevada DOI press release.

 




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.

Contractor looking for job

Why Work With 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.

How To Work With A Home Warranty Company?

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,

  1. American Home Shield
  2. Select Home Warranty
  3. Home Warranty Of America
  4. Choice Home Warranty
  5. One Guard Home Warranties  

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:

  1. Phone claim approvals
  2. Detailed information of their employers / the company
  3. Administrative support
  4. Online invoice
  5. Ability to review payment history
  6. Cancel or resolve service fee
  7. General management of claims online

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.

What To Remember Before Becoming A Service Contractor?

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!

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Anybody who has bought a house knows what closing day feels like.  You probably saw the date changed at least once, maybe more than once.  You waited for closing.  The paperwork trail was long.  The bank’s questions had all been answered.  The title had cleared.  Everything was finally in order, and you saw the keys to your new home for the first time.  And the excitement of it all, for many of us, even in memory, is on par with a short list of big life events that we’ll never forget, especially that feeling of being in our own space and to protect our children is something great in itself!

Broken house

But after the newness and excitement are in the past, home-ownership isn’t always the boon of big advantages over renting that we expect.  And these days it’s all too common for buyers of brand new houses to find that the list of half finished, poorly done, and improperly completed work in a new house is long.  If you are one among many homeowners, ones who found their dream home wasn’t such a dream upon closer inspection, then you already know that a home warranty doesn’t necessarily protect you or your finances in the event the builder of your home rushed through the work, committed architectural no-nos, or had teams of employees who failed to communicate well together.

Homeowners who closed on new homes, only to find that the builders had made huge mistakes or deliberately violated building codes, know all too well that many home warranties are only as good as the financial stability of the builders themselves.  And homeowners who attempt to replace a lost builder’s warranty with one offered by aftermarket home warranty providers may find that pre-existing condition clauses free the company from the obligation to pay many claims that are related to the builder’s errors or bad decisions and calls for a better judgement to be made to protect the interests of the end-user.

But isn’t a home warranty supposed to protect home buyers?  Yes, it’s supposed to do that.  But the difference between what is supposed to happen with home warranties issued by builders and what actually happens in many cases these days is as big as the difference between states’ regulations on builders and the enforcement of those regulations.

Printed media have been all over this problem for years now.  There have been dozens of different reports made by reputable newspapers, magazines, websites, industry organizations,  such as The American Institute of Architects, and consumer-facing organizations such as Consumer Reports, each one reinforcing the alarm to consumers that you can’t buy a new house and assume that any problems with it will be remedied by the builder or the home warranty.

What new home buyers and even buyers of existing homes need to understand is that the best protection against huge home repair costs is usually careful scrutiny of the builder.  Since states vary greatly in the way in which they regulate builders and building codes, and since enforcement these days is oftentimes limited by budgetary problems, home buyers should not feel too confident in the long-term structural integrity of a house without doing some serious due diligence.  That includes checking out the builder’s history and financial health, but it also includes putting extra eyes on the construction while it’s in the process.  Home buyers who skip the work involved in ordering inspections of various steps of the construction of their new houses leave themselves open to all kinds of post-closing surprises.  And if the builder files for bankruptcy, as so many have done since the housing market crash of 2007, then the owner of a home that was poorly built may be out of luck, no matter what promises were made in the home warranty. So protect yourselves by conducting a thorough research on the internet and in trusted domains like HomeWarrantyReviews.Com




10 Things You Must Know About Home Warranty

Home Warranty Insurance provides you with protection against expenses that are incurred due to damage of your household appliances. The appliance warranty company shall either pay for repairs or replace your damaged appliance.

Home Warranty is not an ideal choice for customers who have fairly new equipment in their homes. It is ideal for appliances over four years old.

The Great Stuff

The advantages of Home Warranty are many. Its like an umbrella warranty that covers all the appliances in your home. These are the best aspects of an Appliance Warranty Insurance:

  1. If a major appliance or system breaks down, the Home Warranty company will pay for repairs or in certain cases may even replace the appliance.
  2. You need not go around looking for a technician to repair your damaged appliance. All you have to do is call up your warranty company and pay the deductible amount (usually around $50) and they will send a technician to service the appliance or system
  3. If you wish to sell your home, having a Home Warranty Contract adds value to your property. Buyers are often interested in getting an insured home rather than an uninsured one.
  4. It makes you stress free and you can rest assured that if an appliance breaks down, it will not burn a hole in your pocket.

The Not So Great Stuff

As much as there are benefits, like a coin with two sides, this too has a few limitations.

  1. Each repair will cost something as you have to pay a deductible amount anywhere between $50 – $100 for EACH repair incident. You will have to pay a separate deductible amount for each appliance that was damaged.
  2. The annual premium you pay can range anywhere between $ 500 – $ 1000. So if you are confident that you will not need annual repairs for your appliances, it is better that you hire a contractor for the occasional repairs.
  3. If an appliance part needs to replaced, expect delays. Contractors will have to wait for the company to send new parts in the mail and this delays the repair work.

Drawbacks

Being a top home warranty reviews site, we are aware of common problems faced by customers. Let us take you over a few such issues that you may find difficult to deal with:

  1. Often claim processing moves at a snail’s pace with the company quoting clauses from the contract to deem your claim invalid when the costs involved are quite high. Let this not deter you, there are Insurance companies around who provide impeccable service and ensure that you are well treated.
  2. Pre-existing conditions of your used appliances are not covered. Damages due to wear and tear and lack of maintenance are not covered as well. However, there are companies that do cover above criteria.
  3. Then there is  the fact that Insurance companies always opt for repairs rather than replacing the damaged appliance with a brand new one.

Always make sure that you read the Policy booklet and contract thoroughly so that future conflicts are avoided. Also ensure that the Insurance Company you choose comes highly recommended.

Choosing the right Home Warranty Plan

Choosing the right plan and the right Insurance company is a tough decision to make. The market does provide a lot of choices regarding this as well. If you have decided to proceed with your decision of getting a Home Warranty for yourself, check our reviews section for some insights and ratings. We hope that it will help you choose a plan that suits your needs and your budget. If you are still undecided, do check out our Home Warranty Buyers Guide for further help.




Texas AG Greg Abbott filed a suit against a New York-based Home Warranty company for unlawfully doing business in Texas. The state’s enforcement action seeks to prevent National Home Protection, Inc. from doing business in Texas until it is licensed by the state and complies with requirements of the Texas Occupations Code.

According to state investigators, National Home Protection continued selling “residential service contracts” to Texas homeowners even after the company was specifically informed about licensure and other requirements. The defendant ignored the Texas Real Estate Commission’s demand that it stop offering Texas home warranty plans and return any money received from Texans. Meanwhile, Texas customers continued to complain that the company refused to repair or replace various home systems.

The state’s enforcement action charges National Home Protection with violating the Texas Occupations Code by failing to obtain a license, maintain a funded reserve against their liabilities and file annual reports with the state. The company also is charged with violating the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act (DTPA) by operating without a license in Texas.

For more information, Texas homeowners can call a toll-free complaint hotline at (800) 252-8011 or go online to www.texasattorneygeneral.gov.




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.

Six Steps to Choose a Home Appliance Warranty

  1. Determine the Coverage: Jot down the kind of coverage you need. Include exact items you want to be covered. Electrical systems and plumbing are typically covered under a basic home warranty, but you have to shell out for coverage for some other main appliances such as spa or garage door opener.
  2. Shortlist companies:  Visit Compare Home Warranties section to make a list of companies that you like. You can also check with your friends and family members or with a local real estate agent for a list of suggested home warranty providers.
  3. Research Providers and Pricing: Note down the pricing and ratings info for each company. You can also get price estimate of appliance warranty policy in the same section. Visit the official website of each warranty company if you desire.  Jot down the overall annual price for your preferred policy from each company.
  4. Talk to Companies: Contact home warranty company and inquire more about pricing information and a quote if the information isn’t available online or to verify data you received online. Ask how much fee they charge for a service call, and make a note of prices for each company next to policy price information you already listed. Ask about the typical wait times for a technician to know if there will be someone available promptly to help you when you need it. Also inquire if emergency and 24-hour service is available. Observe how they handle their customers.
  5. Read the Fine Print: Evaluate policy and service fee prices as well as service terms offered in the contract. Don’t assume anything. Pre-existing conditions are generally not covered. Few companies also require you to get maintenance & inspection done on HVAC units by a professional every year. But some  companies add lots of fine print clauses so as to exclude coverage on many things. This is the MOST important step among all.
  6. Customer Service: Finally, remember to check the customer service of the company you choose. When you call to inquire, observe how they treat you. Are they well mannered and kind or intolerant and impolite? Do you have to waste a lot of time on hold before getting through to speak to someone? Realize what their hours so you can make out whether there be someone accessible to help you when you call for it. Also, discover who the company employs for repairs. Ensure it’s a company individual you are happy with, and that they are near enough that they will be able to facilitate your repairs in a timely manner.

This video will help you compare home warranty companies.




There was a news report covered by HomeWarrantyWiz.com regarding recent developments with regard to fake Internet testimonials, company reviews, and ratings being detected and penalized by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).  HomeWarrantyReviews.com was involved with the research behind this article, particularly by sharing our experiences with home warranty companies that have attempted to use our ratings system to post fictitious consumer reviews.

Fake Reviews

Home warranty is a highly complex product and many consumers rely greatly on the information they find on the Internet in order to choose a home warranty company.  Fake Internet reviews make finding accurate information about companies more challenging and can sometimes lead consumers to making misinformed decisions.

The recent FTC fine levied on an advertiser outside the home warranty industry for advertising that involved fake reviews posted online is a good sign for home warranty customers and for all consumers who use the Internet to shop and research products or services.  Websites like ours which are actively monitoring the reviews posted on them are an additional resource aside from the FTC and state attorneys, working in the consumer’s corner.

Penalizing Companies Posting Fake Reviews

There have been instances where we have blacklisted companies for repeatedly posting fake positive reviews. Some companies employed some sort of advanced techniques to make the review look legitimate. But we have built a  sophisticated rating system over the years and will catch any attempt to manipulate the reviews. On top of that we have a team of experienced staff members who make sure the review passes through their litmus test. So, if you are company that relies on such tactics, take a note!

Ensuring that fake reviews and ratings are caught and removed and that the offending parties are warned is just one way in which reviews sites can police reviews and ratings and keep them as accurate as possible.  Consumers also have a responsibility as well. Consumers must be diligent to make their reviews as factual as possible in order to make the fake reviews easier to spot.  Detailed reviews stand apart from general ones and often fake reviews give only the most basic details, focusing more on glowing compliments about the service or product.  Leaving emotion out of reviews is also important because the same companies that post fake reviews or attempt to deflect blame whenever customers post highly emotional testimonials.  Ultimately the task of spotting fake reviews falls greatly upon the consumer’s shoulders but now that the FTC has thrown its hat into the ring things will be much more complicated and risky for companies that prefer false advertising over legitimate customer testimonials.




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.

Green Advantage Warranty

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.




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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.

Washington-Best-Realtors & properties for sale

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 Long

Best-Realtor-in-Washington-DC

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 McLernon

Top-rated-realtor

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:

  • 2007 Realtor of the Year, PenMar Regional Association of Realtors
  • Rookie Realtor of the Year, O’Conor Piper & Flynn

Call, email or text JOAN anytime with real estate queries you may have.

Mike Baldwin

Top-class-realtor-for-sale

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:

  • Owner/Broker/Realtor® – Atlantic Real Estate
  • Accredited Certified Residential Specialist, CRS®
  • Accredited Seniors Real Estate Specialist®, SRES®
  • Accredited Graduate REALTOR® Institute, GRI®
  • Member of National Association of Realtors, NAR®
  • Member of Maryland Association of Realtors, MAR®
  • Member of Frederick County Association of Realtors, FCAR®
  • Member of PenMar Association of Realtors®
  • Licensed in Maryland & South Carolina

In addition, Mike has earned the following:

  • Acquired Associate Broker status obtained by only 1% of Realtors nationwide
  • Achieved sales consistently exceeding personal and company goals
  • Consistent top-producing agent in Maryland
  • Winner of numerous real estate awards: “1996 Rookie of the Year” and “Frederick County Hall of Fame”
  • Represent several local builders with marketing, sales, and planning
  • Consistent Top Realtor in Frederick and Washington County
  • Manager/Team Leader to include sales associate(s) and assistant(s)
  • Platinum Award
  • Platinum Team Award
  • Round Table Award
  • Gold Club Member
  • Silver Club Member

Karen Horejs

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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:

  • Top of the line marketing for her clients
  • State-of-the-art technology
  • An environment where agents collaborate and synergize and most importantly a culture of giving back through KW Cares

Karen has earned the following designations and certifications:

  • Accredited Buyers Representative (ABR)
  • Certified Residential Specialist (CRS)
  • NAR’s e-PRO
  • Graduate, Realtor Institute (GRI)
  • Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES)
  • Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE)
  • Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist (CLHMS)

“My mission is to always “DO MY BEST” in providing professional real estate services to you the buyer or seller!”

Kari Shank

Realtors-REMAX-in-Washington-DC

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:

  • REMAX Platinum Club Award 2014 & 2015
  • 100% Club Award 2013
  • REMAX Top Listing Agent
  • REMAX Top Sales Agent
  • Presidents Club Award
  • Executives Club Award

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.

For Sale : Take Away

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>)




Just the decision to take the task of building a home into your own hands can be daunting, keep aside the fact that liabilities are now yours alone to deal with. The joy of being there every step of the way and having a say in every brick, beam, and wall comes with a lot of responsibility. The smallest of injuries on site to a worker, accidental falls, natural disasters and other unforeseen circumstances can put your budget off by thousands of dollars.

Time is a factor as well, having the plan pushed back by weeks, if not months; time and money that you cannot get back. Such accidents are what makes it prudent for you to invest in structural insurance, warranty and legal coverage for all the essentials.

What is Structural Insurance?

Structural insurance functions within the parameters of Builders Insurance and Site Insurance, covering claims regarding the foundation and architectural framework of the building, as well as the integrity of the site it is built on.

Structural Insurance & Home Warranty

As the percentage of self-built homes increase in the US, numerous companies now offer a comprehensive list of structural insurance for homes built without the assistance of building agencies.

If narrowed down to just structural claims, structural insurance covers the claim of any structural defects in a home for a fixed number of years after it is built. Often certain companies have a secondary set of rules, pertaining to the fact that the claim will only kick in 7 to 10 years after the house is completed.

That being said, structural insurance usually comes hand in hand with site and builders insurance as well, both essential and usually synonymous with structural insurance.

Site Insurance

Site insurance is offered to builders as well as individuals who have purchased land and intend to construct. It not only covers any natural disaster-related damage – fire, storm, flood – to the land, but also the temporary structures on it. The coverage puts aside a certain sum to take care of any unforeseen circumstances that may cause huts, caravans, tools and the building under construction itself to be partially or wholly damaged.

Certain insurance companies not only take care of the monetary side of things but also offer services to clean, repair and bring back the space to its former state.

Builder’s Insurance

In recent times, Builder’s Insurance has become a must for self-built structures, especially since it establishes a sense of trust between the homeowner and the bank or builder who is offering monetary assistance.

Builder’s insurance acts as the umbrella under which site and structural insurance fall, but often companies do cater to individual needs by offering them separately. These insurance policies even accommodate for theft of tools and valuables from the site, but usually, put a limit of the claim. That being said, it is important to pick appropriate coverage plans and not under or over-insure your property.

Allowing delays and pushbacks, any building or structural insurance for individuals who are constructing on their own extend to 18 months, as opposed to the usual 12-month coverage given for builders.

Why Insurance During Construction is Essential

Building a home isn’t only about the structure and integrity. Along each step of the way, you have to be aware of not only accidents and loss that are beyond your control, but also any harm that the process may cause to workers, the public and adjacent private and public property.

Structural Warranty for self built homes

As a homeowner, you are liable if any of your workers are injured during the course of construction, or even if they fall ill due to toxic substance exposure while they worked for you.

Even a trespasser walking into property can have a legal claim if he or she is injured due to any improper construction methods.

Damage to surrounding property can be another reason you are faced with a very large bill for compensation. Everything from a falling tree branch to heavy machinery vibrations that may cause harm to adjacent structures can be seen as cause for a lawsuit. Most often, such damage is seen to happen during the time when your foundation is being set, causing worry about underground water sources and support extending below the ground of other buildings in the area.

Home and Structural Warranty

Besides structural and builder’s insurance, warranty extends the coverage, claims, and care for years after the home is built – taking care of issues and damage that insurance does not address. While insurance deals with unforeseen circumstances and matters that were out of your control, Home Warranty offers solace when you need to deal with maintenance, repair, and replacement due to general wear and tear.

Usually put in place for a period of ten years, Structural Warranty covers defects in the foundation, load-bearing walls, beams, pillars and sometimes even wiring and plumbing systems. Not only does it keep you worry free, it also assures that any negligence on the part of the contractor is covered for without conflict.

 




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.

How to know which is the best home warranty company in Wahington?

Top Home Warranty Companies In The State Of Washington!

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.

American Home Shield

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.

2-10 Home Buyers Warranty

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.

Home Warranty of America

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.