Shocking Home Cost Statistics

Most of us consider homeownership as a treasured experience. It is a common dream to own a home someday. While the experience is indeed one that gives tremendous joy, it too has a certain not so joyous side. Most common troubles associated with homeownership are usually monetary in nature. Let’s take a look at some of the statistics that are sure to shock you!

Real cost of being a homeowner

For many, the initial days of being a homeowner are filled with happiness and a sense of accomplishment. Once those days pass, the reality sinks in, homeownership is a pricey experience. For those of you who are not aware of the various costs that are associated with homeownership, this article may surprise! We’ve borrowed the results from the U.S. Census Board’s survey that conducted a study to identify the various costs of being a homeowner. Let’s take a look at some such costs

.Home Ownership Cost

#1 – Home Maintenance & Appliance Repairs

This is a very familiar term. Everyone knows that a house will require maintenance, but does anyone know exactly how much? The Census Board believes that, on average, every home requires annual maintenance costs that is around 1-4% of the home’s value. And this percentage steadily rises as the house ages.

It’s no big secret that appliance repairs/ replacements are expensive affairs. Maintaining them will be hard on your budget if you don’t have any form of protection or service contract for that. As per the studies, home maintenance makes for the biggest chunk of expense any homeowner is bound to encounter.

Research revealed that on an average a $200,000 home will require at least $2,000 in repairs and general maintenance expenses alone. Average appliance repair costs alone range between $100 to $350 in a year. This is precisely why home warranty plans were invented. Such plans cost only around $200-$600 a year and they will provide you with discounted repairs/replacements, which in the long run would help you save thousands of dollars!

#2 – Property Tax

This too should be a familiar term. The Census Board says that between the years 2007-2011, around 60% of the counties in U.S. reported the average property tax to be somewhere around $500 – $1,500. Here’s a fact to shock the living daylights out of you, the average annual property tax in Westchester county, NY was $9,647. Worried?

#3 – Heating & Cooling costs

Now this one must not have crossed your mind. Almost all homes in U.S. are equipped in heating and cooling units. As per surveys, home’s using electricity for heating will spend $900, homes using propane $1,666 and homes using heating oil will spend $2,400 on average heating costs.

Cooling thankfully runs on electricity alone and research suggests that on average a home incurs around $300 annually by using air conditioning systems.

#4 – HVAC repair

Yet another one that makes up for one big chunk of money. HVAC repairs, on average cost around $400 a year. Furnace repairs sometimes cost upto $800 a year. At least for the sake of avoiding such expenses for HVAC units, we recommend that you purchase a home warranty plan. $300 a year for a host of appliances is better than $800 a year for one unit. Is it not?

And that’s NOT all!

Sadly this list does not cover all the expenses that a homeowner has to meet, it lists only the main ones. We strongly recommend our readers to go through the various benefits of home warranty and to purchase one if your home and its contents are 4+ years old. You can even use our website to obtain a free quote and to take a look at top 10 home warranty companies.

Our readers are encouraged to approach us should they have any concerns or queries. We hope you enjoyed reading this article. Do come back for more. Cheers!






According to the U.S. Department of Energy, in 2011 natural gas was the most cost efficient way to run appliances and heat a home in the United States. And that may not have changed much since then. If you look at the 2014 Federal Register article regarding projections for near future energy costs by type it seems impossible to not conclude that gas is the cheapest way to run your home’s systems and appliances. While it’s true that each home is different in terms of energy use, it’s apparent that a home with newer systems and appliances that use gas instead of electricity are often much less expensive to operate.

But even if your home’s gas appliances and system components make you happy it’s still a great idea to consider whether or not there’s still room for savings in your monthly budget. That’s what I had in mind when I started looking at just how much it costs on average to run electrical appliances and gas appliances.

If you have gas heating for your home and a gas water heater then you probably already know that gas can cost less compared with electricity. That is, of course, if your home has up to date equipment with the highest available efficiency standards. But if you are still looking for ways to cut your energy costs each month then these are the three major appliances that are probably using the most gas.

Gas Appliances that Consume Highest Energy

The Dryer

According to statistics available on Pacific Gas & Electric Company’s website, a gas clothes dryer will typically cost the user between twelve cents and fifteen cents per load. It may seem like putting more clothing in the dryer at one time would reduce your energy costs, but that’s not always true. If you wind up running the dryer longer in order to get everything inside completely dry then your savings may be little if anything. When weather permits you can cut your usage by line drying clothing, but that assumes that you have a clothes line and the right environment for clothing to dry while staying clean.

Dishwasher

Based on the figures available on PG&E’s website you might see a cost of between fifteen and twenty cents per load when using a gas dishwasher. If your house is like mine then the dishwasher is running at least once per day. It’s hard, and in some cases unsanitary, to avoid using it.

The Oven and Stovetop

In addition to being the choice of many professional chefs, gas ovens and stovetop burners are also very efficient.  PG&E shows an average of twenty one cents per hour in gas cost for this appliance. One way you can cut your energy costs is to use the cooking timer on your oven if your model has this feature. Shutting the oven off automatically at the end of a cooking cycle can avoid extra gas usage and save money over the course of a month.

If you are hoping to calculate your own home’s gas usage, broken down by each appliance I would recommend you look at this free tool from PeoplesGasDelivery.com. It is recommended that you read about energy conservation tips for your home too. Cheers!




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

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

Appliances That Need Care Before Winter Hits

Appliances That Need Care Before Winter Hits

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

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

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

HVAC

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

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

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

Smoke Detectors

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

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

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

Dryers

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

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

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

Fireplace

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

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

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

General Winterizing Advice

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

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

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

We hope you found this article useful. Let us know your thoughts. Cheers!




Home Warranty or appliance extended warranty are basically insurance policies for the appliances and systems in your home. Hope you never have to employ them, but glad you have it when your appliance breakdown. With cost of service & electronic components, your repair bill could end up being the same as the price appliance was bought for.

This article will help you in deciding on what is more pertinent, buying a home warranty or extended warranty.

Home Warranty and Extended Warranty – ComparisonHome Warranty or appliance extended warranty

Home Warranty – Valuing Your Possessions

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

 

 

Appliance Extended Warranty

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

What You Get With Your New Appliance

Manufacturer’s Warranty

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

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

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

Limited Warranty

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

Below are some examples of limited warranties.

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

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

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

Do I require Home or  Extended Warranty?

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

Built-in Models

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

Electronic Models

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

Gas Range

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

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

Electric Ranges

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

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

Gas Dryers

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

 

What you Should Know About Home Warranties and Extended Appliance Warranties

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

Be sure you know:

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

Asking the right questions BEFORE PURCHASING will prevent unwelcomed surprises!

 

Differences between Extended Warranties & Home Warranties

Extended Warranty

extended-home-warranties

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

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

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

Home Warranty

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

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

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

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

 




For decades now, the American Dream has been synonymous with Homeownership. Even though the housing market has not got back up after the recession hit of 2008, a majority of the population still strives to own their dream home, looking at it as a sign of stability and accomplishment. The only thing that changes is what each individual, couple or family unit is really looking for in a home, and at what time in their lives, they choose to take the leap.

The When and What of Dream Homes

Statistics show that an approximate 70% of all Americans hope to own a home of their own, comprising a solid 80% to 90% of millennials, aged between 18 and 34. Even though there is a postponement of getting married and having children in the lifestyles of the latter, parents – single or in committed relationships – have dream homes high on their priority list.

As far as dream homes go, it can be safely said that a mere one-third of the cross section across generations claim to already be living in their ideal residence, most aspiring to own a space larger and more luxurious. Yet, size isn’t everything and a very large percentage do want homes that are sized neither too small nor too big, between 1500 to 2500 square feet on an average.

At the end of the day, aspirational homes are greatly dependent on the age-bracket that you fall under – each generation having constantly changing needs, wants and family structures. While Millennials prefer to invest in homes which are high-tech and modern in both structure and amenities, the Baby Boomers (between 50 and 70 years at the moment) are in search for or have already invested in ranch-style homes which are comfortable and easily accessible.

The want for modernity has blended right in with the need to entertain, socialize and have a good time. Countering the luxury of numerous bedrooms, the new dream home features a large spread out floor plan with incentives and perks like French windows opening onto decks, views of the city or the sea, gourmet kitchens, fancy wet bars and open terraces.

From Country to Contemporary – 6 Types of Homes for the American Dreamers

French Country – An Eclectic Blend of American and French

A style of building, interiors, and structure that are appreciated across generations, French Country is making a comeback into the list of homes that Americans aspire to own.

French Country, your ideal home

Having its own touch of fantasy with its French feel, these country homes combine to perfection the resourceful American architectural techniques with French flair and decorative elements. What is more, being a type of home which first gained popularity in the early 1900’s, these country houses can be structured as anything from a small old-worldly cottage with a yard and a fence to an extravagant castle-like mansion with French windows and elaborate décor. Whichever it may be, they are known for their warmth and comfort, with tall window panes letting in plenty of morning sun and a mix of stepped roofs and gables with arches over the doorways to balance out the sharp edges.

The French traditional façade and elements of elevation are kept up through the use of stucco, brick, wrought iron rails and window panes, while the floor plan of the home tends to be more modern and functional – altering itself to fit the needs of your current lifestyle.

Colonial – European Geometricity and Symmetry

Colonial homes are known to be one of the most popular styles of architecture in America, characterized by their sharp geometricity brought by the European colonists in the 18th century. Themselves influenced by the Greeks and Romans in the past, European stylistic tendencies soon cropped up in various parts of both urban and rural America and is still known for its grandeur, symmetry, and stable stature.

Colonial, your dream home

The house is the epitome of formal balance, with the entrance being centrally located and brought to focus by the use of columns, often decorated around the capital or fluted from top to bottom. The formal balance is echoed in the sturdy and square foundation, on which stand an approximate of two or three floors. Taking it a step further, the windows are usually all the same size, symmetrically distributed on the façade with decorative shutters and multiple panes.

The past two to three centuries have seen very little change in this style, though certain homeowners do add elements to suit their needs. As far as dream homes go, the Colonial three-floor home in the city acts as the perfect bridge between the bustle of urban life and a safe and secure space for you and your family. It’s efficient and need based design caters perfectly to the new age priority of functionality while incorporating elements such as classical decorative detailing, hardwood floors and fireplaces without any compromise on the traditional look and feel of the space.  

Tudor – Dynastic English with a Touch of Victorian

Tudor style homes date back to England in the 1500’s, owing its name to the Tudor Dynasty which witnessed the last developmental phase of medieval architecture in England. The Tudor we know today owes a great deal more to modern alterations made to the style of that time, known now as Tudor Revivalist architecture.

Tudor, your dream home

Bringing in elements of both the Victorian charm and tradition as well as ornate gothic height and elevation, the Tudor Revivalist structures feature decorative timber on their façade, placed to give the entire house a sense of stability and weight even though they are purely ornamental in reality. In complete contrast to the colonial style of building, Tudor homes are characterized by their marked lack of symmetry, which is noticeable in all aspects of the interior and exterior of the home. Stressing on the abstract over geometric formal balance, the houses have a mix of angles and shapes which are rather varied, though they fall together in perfect harmony.

In recent times, newer constructions have been shying away from building Tudor style houses, but its archaic quality mixed with its abstract structural plan still keeps it in demand with the present generations of Americans.

Traditional Ranch and Cape Cod – simple, stately and minimal

A style which came into being wholly in America, Traditional Ranch Homes are the Baby Boomer’s dream right about now. Ideal for family units and retirement, ranch homes are known for their close to ground single story plans, minimal or no decorative elements, and functional priority in all aspects.

Cape code, your ideal home

Influenced by North American colonial architecture from the Spanish colonies, Ranch houses cut out direct sunlight and heat, offering the owner a covered porch with a view of the street – right out a country western flick.

Similar in functionality and priority as the Ranch homes, Cape Cod-style houses too boast of low floor plans and modest exteriors. These have now been subject to some experimental design in the past few decades, opening out the floor plan further and increase ventilation, living space and light. The new age American home is beginning to look at the importance of privacy and elbow room, which low floor plans can easily be altered to provide.

With amenities at the minimum, the house was once associated with the simple life, fusing modern ideas of to-the-point design with the American belief system of casual living spaces and informal communities and family units.

Craftsmen and Prairie

The last of the major shifts in architecture in the US, the nineteenth century saw the advent of the Arts and Crafts movements which came into existence in direct opposition of the opulent Victorian style (which was characterized by decoration in all fields) as well as the continued revival of classical styles of the past.

Prairie, your dream home

These styles developed into the contemporary ideals of home ownership shared by the present generations of Americans and focused on simplicity and inspiration from the surrounding nature itself. Not wanting to construct obstructive structures or spend excessively, the building materials and amenities were kept to a minimum in both, though each style was distinctly different.

Craftsmen, your ideal home

The Craftsmen style featured small, sturdy and extremely well-built bungalows known for their expert craftsmanship and lasting strength, while Prairie homes were characterized by spread out floor plans that echoed the prairie through its extending porches, courtyards, and balconies.

Contemporary, New American and Green – Uninterrupted, Individual and Unique

While many of us dream of owning the home down the street from theirs or a cottage that they once drove by in the countryside, a large number of Americans in recent times prefer being able to control and individualize their dream home’s floor plan and structure.

Modern & Contemprorary homes most americans aspire to own

The Contemporary and New American trends in construction are rooted in the need for basic form and function over decorative opulence, incorporating abstract floor plans and leveled rooms and spaces to allow for a flowing interior while not compromising on private spaces.

A touch of luxury has entered the privacy of bedrooms and baths as well, bringing in leisure into busy lifestyles by introducing simple tweaks like couple sinks, bath tubs, walk in closet spaces and oversized windows to greet you in the morning.

The spaces blending into one another also serves well when it comes to the love for entertaining, where open kitchens, terraces and landscaped backyards become a part and parcel of what a dream home should have.

Open floor plans are supported by open facades as well, with numerous windows, minimal dividing walls and doors, and a stress on abstract and asymmetry over formal balance. This focus on function has led to bigger questions regarding the environment as well, with homeowners who are building or renovating using natural and eco-friendly materials available close to the site of construction over large amounts of concrete.

Tips, Tricks, and DIY’s

While owning your dream home can be an aspirational standard you work towards, every home can be made to suit your best and serve its every purpose to the fullest. Even spending a few hours every Sunday on a little gardening or a spruce up cleaning spree can make a great difference in the feel of your home, and bring to the fore elements of its structural beauty that you never noticed before.

HomeWarrantyReviews.com holds within its array of articles not only guides to Home Warranty coverage and companies but also Do It Yourself guides and hacks to maintain your home and garden, giving you a space to discuss and learn about various ways to bridge the gap between physical appearance and functionality when it comes to your home.

What Next For Your Dream Home?

Discussing the various types of the home is something cool. But what is cooler is to keep it that way. How? You might ask! 
We only have three words for that – Research, Ratings & Reviews!
So take out those keen eyes and get online, check for the track record of the home warranty company in question by seeing the innumerable reviews on the internet. Check for their ratings and gauge how the company is performing and see for a fact how clearly the site’s rate a home warranty company, you know you can betcha on our site because we understand how important credibility is & we’ve been the go-to site for many such types of internet researches on home warranty shenanigans!




Which home would you rather purchase? One that gives you no protection if the air conditioner, plumbing, furnace, garage door openers or dishwater go kaput or one the with a home warranty that fixes any repairs for less than $100?

Majority of buyers would opt for  the latter. It is simple to see why many sellers are making  home warranty part of the selling contract. Provide yourself a marketplace edge by giving buyers peace of mind.

Sell Your House Faster

A home warranty offers the buyer with peace of mind that helps in case there are any problems with major appliances, electrical or home systems. Generally there is a deductible service fee of about $ 60 payable per incident. The cost is generally around $300 to $400 in the form of an annual fee which buys peace of mind and adds value when you’re staring at selling your house.Sell Your House Faster

Additionally, some real estate companies may provide appliance and system protections plans to their customers at no extra charge. Nearly all real estate agencies will offer this service for free, which is generally built into the selling price of the home and brokerage of the realtor.

People who are procuring an older home will buy a warranty if there isn’t one already provided by the seller. This is where having a home warranty for your home is an excellent selling feature. Potential buyers are ought to be impressed if the home is already covered for its appliances and systems.

How to Compare and Choose the Best ?

You can effortlessly find a company that provides appliance protection on our website here or by asking your real estate agent. They will possibly have a list of good home warranty companies that they have used in the past and can advice. Your research also helps choose the best. It’s vital to find out what a company charges along with coverage and other clauses.

 

 

You must compare plans based on the categories below.

  • Systems and appliances covered
  • The cost of the home warranty
  • Service deductible fee
  • Exclusions
  • Other variables like add on’s and customization of plans

With a home warranty, you can give buyers with peace of mind allowing them to be assured that the home is worth their investment. This can be  an outstanding selling feature for any home, new or old. A home warranty can aid you to sell the home faster, standing higher than other homes for sale on the market that do not come with a home warranty.

Selling your home can be a daunting task. Providing appliance protection should do the trick. This service gives your home buyers the composure they look for.

Other Tips for Improving the marketability of Your Home

A few tips for you that will better the chances of finding a buyer for your house.

Kitchen Remodeling

One such improvement is kitchen remodeling. The key aspects you must bear in mind when remodeling are good floor area, sufficient storage space and other modern features. An agent in your locality will be the best person to advice. You can also look up on the internet for resources.

The most common reasons people go for kitchen remodeling are :

  • To improve materials, appliances and fixtures
  • To provide more floor space
  • To provide extra space so family members have a place to grab a quick bite or dine together

Putting back old kitchen cabinets with solid wood – whether cherry, oak or even something less pricey like pine and kitchen counter tops is a good way to increase the kitchen’s usability and appearance as well as the market value of your home.

Bathroom Remodeling

Like kitchen remodeling, bathroom remodeling needs the services of a professional contractor.

It is important  to have a comprehensive plan and know what type renovation work you want before beginning the project so that code compliance laws are met and essential permits obtained.

Be specific when making the list. Instead of just a lavatory, identify the type. Pedestal lavatories can cost over $300, while a simple wall-hung model can just be under $ 70. Designer toilets will be a little over $ 1,500 while a standard two-piece model will cost under $100. Shop for the finest quality fittings.

Besides, here is a list of 6 tips for selling your home that can change the way home buyers look at your home.

  1. Change the mailbox. The mailbox is one of the first items potential buyers see from the curb. A rusty mail box shows a poorly maintained home.
  2. Paint the front door.Depending on the type of door you have, it is prone to wear and tear making it look dull. The dirt from outside stains and the light it is exposed to fades the paint. A fresh paint can vary the image of the psychology of the buyer entering the house.
  3. Trim shrubbery. Shrubbery is good but overgrown shrubbery looks untidy. It makes the same impression – unkempt, not looked after and not clean. Sensible use of the clippers can make a huge difference in the curb appeal.
  4. Fertilize the lawn. Few things make a bigger impression than from the curb than a blossoming green lawn. And nothing will attain that for you than a little addition of fertilizer. Also apply a little seed to the balder patches of the loan and you can see improvements in a week.
  5. Change Light Switch Plates. Unavoidably, light switch plates and plates for outlets show signs of constant contract. Finger prints, dirt can be clearly visible. You could attempt cleaning them one by one but the plates are very cheap. However, clean plates would point to a home that is cared for to the last little item.
  6. Clean the windows. Dazzling clean windows make the house more attractive both inside and out while dirty windows showing hand prints, rain stains create a negative impression on the home buyer.

This list gives you a starting point on economical ways to improve your home’s marketability. Now you should walk your home and try to find the little things that could be made cleaner and brighter with very small expenses.




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.




Americans buy home warranty to protect themselves from repair and replacement costs of home appliances that fail due to normal wear and tear. Unfortunately a lot of policy holders feel let down by the result after filing a claim with their warranty company. Some people are ignorant that they have the power to dispute the outcome of a claim when one is filed; others are conscious that many customers succeed when they dispute a claim correctly. The procedure involved in disputing a claim can be extensive, but can be worth time investment.

Home Warranty Claims

A home warranty is a service contract that covers systems and items in your home that are usually not covered by homeowner’s insurance. Furnaces and outside air conditioning units, plumbing and electrical systems are items commonly covered under a home warranty protection plan. The homeowner requests a claim with the warranty company when a covered item requires repair. Some home warranty providers repay the homeowner for the cost of the repair while others send a contractor directly to the home for repairs.

Common Causes of Home Warranty Claims Denial

You should look at these factors carefully for any items that you estimated to be covered by the home warranty contract you aim to procure. Make sure you read the contract one more time and understand the reason for denial. In some cases, even courts cannot help you if the claim was denied for a reason clearly stated in the contract.

So what are some of the common reasons for denial of claims on home warranty?

  • Lack of Maintenance – You are supposed to take care of cleaning and maintenance of appliances. HVAC units must be serviced every year and you should keep maintenance records.
  • Code Violations – If any of your appliances violate safety and installation codes, they won’t be covered.
  • Unusual wear and tear – due to reckless usage etc.
  • Improper installation – This is where having a home scrutiny done by a professional is so significant. Paying out a few hundred dollars for this kind of assessment could save you thousands of dollars and years of annoyance. For instance, if the HVAC system was not installed properly, or if the defect existed before the new buyer takes ownership, the claim could be denied. If the seller is reluctant to deal with issues that are found in a home inspection, think two times before you close on that home.
  • Excluded appliances Clause – Not all appliances are covered. Your service contract lists all covered appliances. Make sure you are okay with the coverage.

How to Dispute Home Warranty Claim Denials

Always be polite and be friendly with customer service professionals. They will go an extra mile if they like you. The first step should always be that you speak to customer service supervisors and their bosses who make the decision. Assuming those steps did not result in a favorable outcome, you can follow these escalation steps:

  • Step 1: Verify your home warranty documents. The definite steps you have to take with the home warranty company to appeal a petition for denial must be listed in the documents.
  • Step 2: Make contract with your home warranty company. Keep a record of all dates and times you talk to a company representative. Obtain the names of every person you speak to. Inquire for the required paperwork to demand a denial of your warranty plan.
  • Step 3: Get the problem re-estimated by a third party. Speak to a local contractor or repairman and get a written estimate for the repair. Have the professional note in writing of what he thinks is the reason of the damage.
  • Step 4: Pursue the warranty company’s appeal process. Some companies want mediation actions be started by and finished by you before the issue can be taken further. Provide any documentation demanded by the company.
  • Step 5: Approach Better Business Bureau (BBB.) Most companies are willing to resolve your issues and close BBB complaints to have a clean record.
  • Step 6: Call your State attorney general’s office. The attorney general’s office normally deals with warranty fraud and service denials.
  • Step 7: File a complaint in small claims court if your claim is small enough. Small claims courts are confined on how much money you can file for a suit. Ensure with the small claims clerk’s office to settle on if your claim falls under the limit.
  • Step 8: Get hold of an attorney for larger claims. Verify with your local bar association to locate an attorney knowledgeable in real estate and denial of service matters. The permissible charge for an attorney differs by area, but usually you will be able to sue the warranty company for the lawyer charges you paid other than your claim.

 




Home warranty companies take lot of heat from consumers especially on reviews sites like ours. Consumers think home warranty plans provide blanket coverage just like auto insurance. But these are different kinds of insurance products. Chances of your appliances needing repair are much more than your car getting involved in a road accident, although premium you pay is about the same. So, obviously insurance companies have to make some profit to stay alive and that is why there are small print clauses that exclude certain conditions. Not many people will read the contract and will be surprised when their claims are rejected. As pointed out by Mr. Lehmann below, positive experiences are less likely to be talked about and many reviews here on this site are overly negative.

HSA

The president and CEO of HSA Home Warranty has responded to the criticism and negative reviews on this site. We appreciate home warranty companies coming out and explaining the facts. We also think they need to ensure home owners understand the product terms before signing the contract. Homeowners warranty is one of those products that needs little bit of consumer education.
Here is the complete response –

I feel that I have to respond to the comments that I read on this blog. I have been the president of this company for 25 years. It disturbs me to read these comments when I know that we work so diligently to deliver the best service that we possibly can. Unfortunately, the individuals who post their opinions are overwhelmingly those that feel that they were treated unfairly. I think that some statistics might be helpful to those individuals who read this site. We have 100 opinions posted on this site. Of those, approximately 25 are people who had a good experience and wish to share it. All others express negative comments. This is out of almost 85,000 people who filed claims with us last year. So you are hearing from far less than 1% of our claimants on this site. What you don’t hear is from the 85% plus who had claims and were very satisfied.

Furthermore, over 40% of our business comes from renewal customers who thought highly enough of our product and service to renew their warranty coverage. In other words a huge majority of our customers are very satisfied with their coverage and keep their warranty coverage with us for a long period of time.

While I applaud the high satisfaction rates of some of our competitors, you might notice that they do not have very many opinions registered. That is possibly because they only conduct business in a single community or state. The national companies, like HSA, have a more challenging situation in that they cover the entire country from Fargo, ND, to Abilene, TX to Philadelphia, PA to Orlando Florida. It is a tremendous challenge to form a network of vendors that covers the entire country. With this challenge comes some variance in the quality of service contractors performing the repairs. We do our best, every day, to bring on high quality service people. However, the alternative is no warranty protection if your community is smaller, more rural, or difficult to access.

There are those who complain that they had to wait several days in high heat or extreme cold to have their furnace or air conditioner repaired or replaced. If you look in your yellow pages you may notice that there are a finite number of companies who do this work. When there is a heat spike or a heavy freeze they are under tremendous pressure to accomplish all of the repairs. Whether you have a home warranty or not, it is likely that you will have to wait to get your repair work done. In fact, we believe that we do get repair people to you faster than if you did not have a warranty, because we send these companies a lot of business and have service contracts in place to establish high expectations with our service people.

Further, if you need a rare part or a new unit, we might be able to get them faster than the local company because we often buy directly from the manufacturer. Still there are only so many service companies and it takes time to get to you when there are weather extremes in your area. We also have a service guaranty in our contract that ensures we will respond to your service request in a timely manner or we will let you contact a vendor outside of our network to ensure fast service. Our people do their very best to bring you the fastest service possible. It is in our best interest to have satisfied customers.

Our CSR’s are monitored and trained on a daily basis. All telephone calls are recorded. We review these for quality assurance purposes and if there is a complaint about “rudeness” we listen to the call and review it with the CSR. As we review these we frequently find that the “rudeness” may have occurred after a customer became irate, abusive or profane with the CSR. We do instruct them to end the call if they are subject to extremely abusive language or profanity. The CSR’s are nearly always friendly, courteous and helpful. If not, they are retrained. If that is unsuccessful, further corrective action is taken up to and including termination.

With this response I pledge that all complaints about our service surfaced on this site will be fully reviewed to be sure the proper claim decision was made. While there are times when customers are upset that our contract terms do not allow us to cover every claim, I am confident that we stand by our service experience and address problems as they arise.

Some customers complain about being non-renewed after a claim. On average, we pay 1.1 claims per contract. That’s our business. We pay claims and provide service to people. However, you may have seen allusions to receiving $10,000 in claims. Obviously we cannot pay that kind of money out on every warranty. These individuals usually have eight to twenty claims. If we did renew this type of property, the cost of the warranty would be raised very high for everyone else and make the product less available to consumers who need the budget protection our warranty provides. We also will non-renew for persistent abusive or profane language and for behavior we consider unethical. Just as you have the choice of warranty providers, we have the ability to choose not to do business with individuals who exhibit this type of behavior.

Some complaints are about hold times. We continually strive to improve our hold times. In these economic times longer hold times are a problem. You may have experienced them with airlines, banks, credit card companies, insurance companies, etc. We are actually pleased that we have been able to keep the standards that we have and even improve our hold times in several target areas. We have not moved to a foreign call center or outsourced our call center operation. All of your calls are answered here in the United States by HSA employees trained in the values of our organization. They take tremendous pride in providing you industry leading customer service.

I wrote this letter because I could not tolerate without response the people who call us thieves, liars and con men. We work very hard to deliver the best service and coverage that we can with integrity and fairness, and have done so for 25 years. We judge our success by the number of people who renew their warranty coverage with us year after year. These are the more than 85 percent of our customers who file a legitimate service request and receive fair and prompt service. If that were not true we could not keep our customers.
Robert Lehmann – CEO & President of HSA Home Warranty




Comprehending if you should spend up the money, sometimes up to six hundred dollars on a home warranty is a thought buyers and current home owners must consider. There are many examples when buying a home warranty in position is well worth the money and other times that it may not be worth the price.

Is a Home Warranty Worth the Price?

Short sale homes and bank owned homes will usually not shell out for the buyer to have a home warranty in place and in these occurrences it may be wise to have a home warranty. One thing to remember is that home warranty plans normally do not cover pre-existing conditions so knowing that you have an air conditioning unit, that does not function is not a cause to buy the warranty. Since these homes have been possessed in general by people who are at risk of losing the home and possibly lived in the home for many months knowing they were losing the home tend not to take much care of the property. So problems could take place after you take ownership. In this case, you may want to think about a home warranty and the out of pocket cost might be money that is well used up.

Pre-Existing ConditionsIn case the home you are purchasing is quite new, say between one and 5 years, then you may skip home warranty as most things usually don’t go wrong in the first few years. However, a home that is six to twelve years old will possibly start having things like the garbage disposal needing replacing, water heater going out and air conditioning units needing repair so disbursing for a warranty might very well pay off.

First, it is vital to realize that Home Warranty plans are fine to have but it is not a catch-all for replacements and repairs. It is surely not a means to overlook home maintenance. The declaration about “my a/c gets replaced, and my a/c goes out” may or may not be correct in all conditions. Thus, understanding what your contract says will help save some heart ache of what to anticipate when you call the company for a warranty in the time to come.

How to determine KNOWN vs UNKNOWN Pre-Existing Conditions

None of the Home Warranty Companies will cover KNOWN pre-existing conditions. In order to find out an UNKNOWN pre existing coverage, a home inspection is used. If a problem was prominent in the home inspection report and no action was taken, it would be considered as a KNOWN pre-existing condition. Thus, the problem will not be covered by the Home Warranty.

Home warranty pre existing conditions

The reality is, most of the home warranty companies do not ask for or even acknowledge documentation as to the serviceability of anyone’s home which generates a HUGE LOOPHOLE permitting the warranty company the choice of declining the claim based on the convenient ‘Pre-Existing Conditions clause.

The immature homeowner informs them that his house and all the systems are in good operating condition. Initially, the homeowner is told that his/her word is all that is required, but when it is the time to file a claim, the homeowner will find his word against the home warranty’s service technician.

Certainly, the homeowner will lose if the technician finds a ‘pre-existing condition or other unforeseen situation, as the warranty company always goes with the word of their technician!

For instance: A home inspector observed that there was a leaky faucet in the kitchen, it becomes a known pre-existing condition for the buyer. If the buyer appeal that the Seller fix the issue and the Seller gave a receipt upon repair, the buyer would then be required to ask the plumber to warrant his/her work. The Home Warranty Company will not be accountable for the repair.

However, in some cases, where the home examiner did not account a problem or no home examination was carried out before closing, the Home Warranty Company would need a contractor to send so as to diagnose the problem. The Home Warranty Company would also request the contractor if it be a problem caught by the home examiner. In case the answer is “Yes”, then the buyers will be accountable for the repair and if the answer is “NO”, then the Home Warranty will suppose it as an unknown pre-existing condition, and so repair the problem at no cost to the buyer.

Keeping it Conveniently Unclear

Some home warranty companies even show off that a inspection is not required! But that is just what should be needed to begin the condition of the home and its systems and to remove the reason of the ‘pre-existing conditions’ clause. It is safe to have a third party inspection done to protect yourself from future claim denials.

Credentials would show that there were no pre-existing conditions, there were no inappropriately set up or sized systems. But the home warranty companies don’t want documentation as that would remove the chance to take your money.

Clearly the homeowner is the victim in the long run. However, realtors who sell them the incorrect warranty product will lose a future referral. To be fair, there has not been a substitute home warranty product obtainable until now.

So what you expect from your home warranty company?

There are companies which do business differently. One that

  • Requires an inspection first.
  • Has no ‘Pre-Existing Clause’.
  • Will pay on all warrantee able items
  • Realtors can have faith with their reputation
  • You will not find any complaints about.
You can trust the companies that require an inspection by their competent inspectors. First, you get the documents needed to establish the existence of a ‘pre-existing condition’.

If any item does not go by inspection, you have the choice to either have it repaired and be covered by the warranty, or to not repair it and eliminate it from the warranty.




As a landlord, legal responsibility is a bigger issue for you. You need to guard yourself against the losses that can potentially crop up to your properties and in general financial health. What if your occupant is hurt on the rental possessions? You want to be sure that if you are prosecuted, you have the adequate insurance to lend you a hand.

Insurance Landlord needs

As a landlord, you should guard your income stream and that’s your rental income. If the structure is adequately spoiled then it is not possible for the renter to dwell in your property, so you require a protection to your rental income so as to meet your obligations, together with the mortgage on the property, if any. This is where you have to reflect carefully on what your exact needs are and purchase the right coverage.

Take heart! While it may sound scary, insurers have previously designed policies for the landlord’s requirements. Always remember that there will be a dissimilarity in these policies, so you will have to verify the fine print and choose the one that suits your situation. By shopping around, you will get a better idea of what is obtainable in coverage and at what price.

Essential Insurance for Landlords

There are some forms of insurance you can take to make your life simpler and less of a burden. Here is a list of essential insurances that a landlord must have:

Get a Home Warranty

Landlords most likely take issue with this one, as it appears to take money out of their pockets-especially those with the ability to do repair work themselves. However, you can draw a better class of tenant if they recognize that there’s a warranty in place. (i.e., they won’t have to hunt you down and request you to come by to make repairs). Besides, it will free you up to truly manage your belongings as an owner rather than just a handyman. To end with, a home warranty policy will pay for itself with one or two repairs.

To get an estimate of home warranty costs for your rental properties, visit our home warranty price quote section

Landlord House Insurance

If you possess a home then you likely know the significance of ensuring that it is properly protected. Having the correct insurance for your property is a good step towards making sure that you have the guard you require. Landlord house insurance is essential for anyone who possesses a home. The key to home insurance policies is ensuring that you receive the best price for your insurance.

Below is a list of ways by which you can decrease the rate of your insurance policy.

  • Security System– If you set up a right security system that can sense fires or thieves, then you can find a reduced rate on your insurance policy.
  • Increase Deductible– You can ensure to pay a lower amount for your insurance plan by increasing your deductible payment. The deductible is the payment that you are required to pay once you make a claim on your insurance plan. Make sure that you find a good deductible rate for yourself.
  • Remove Potential Hazards– If you stay in an area that is bounded by trees then likely you have a high risk of a fire occurring. By clearing the trees you may be able to save money on the insurance. Based on the circumstances you may have to shell out a higher premium for your contents house insurance.
  • Find the Right Lender– The best way to save money on your landlord house insurance is to gaze around. Start a search online and hunt for different companies that provide reasonable insurance for your home. You can obtain free online quotes for house insurance from different companies but make sure that you get comprehensive quotes for your insurance. Get the details of the coverage and don’t be fooled by any company as the offer really low prices because they normally have high deductibles and bad coverage.

Landlords Contents Insurance

Many landlords believe that they do not require any insurance for the contents in their buildings. They hold the impression that these contents are taken care of by the building insurance they procured. However, that is not the actual case. To get the contents covered, they will have to spend extra in landlords’ contents insurance. Some landlords even feel that the contents will be covered by any insurance policy the tenant holds. But the actual fact is that the policies bought by the tenants will only cover possessions of the tenants and not that of the landlord.

If the landlords truly worry about the contents for which they put in a huge amount of money, they must procure landlords contents insurance. In this way, they can expect to get some reimbursement for the items in case they are damaged. Having no insurance for these items will leave them totally destructed if they face any incident causing damages.

Umbrella Insurance Policy

It’s called “umbrella insurance as it is intended to give liability protection beyond when the liability on other policies has been exhausted. Depending on the insurance company, you can obtain an umbrella policy with an extra one to five million in liability protection.

Umbrella Insurance gives an added layer of liability coverage. It’s isn’t just for rich and famous. Whether it’s an incident on your policy or a serious auto accident concerning costly medical bills, you can find yourself liable for damages that exceed the limits on your homeowners, auto or boat policies. A pricey judgment is the last thing you want to be anxious about.

Landlords habitually handle different types of policies, but one of the most significant and frequently unnoticed types of insurance is the umbrella insurance policy.

Consider these factors if you are not sure if you would benefit from procuring umbrella insurance or not.

  • Rentals– Though you carry an independent fire policy for each home, umbrella insurance can help you protect in case your tenant or tenant’s guest are injured on a rental property.
  • Vacant land-Your vacant land can be used by neighborhood children to play. If one is hurt it could result in an expensive lawsuit. In such situation, umbrella insurance can offer additional coverage.

Taking no notice of these insurance policies is not recommended anytime. The consequence of such ignorance could lead to serious losses that will be hard to recover. On the contrary, landlords are strongly suggested to make an investment in such policies that will save them a lot of money in case of any accidents.




American Home Shield (AHS), a leading home warranty company in the United States, appoints Mark Barry as new president of the company.

Mark Barry as New PresidentBarry most recently served as president of United Technologies Automation and Control Solutions, a $3.2 billion Hartford, Conn-based unit of UTC’s climate, control and security business. He previously served as the president of GE Security-Americas before it was acquired by UTC in 2010.

He spent seven years at Tyco International, including five years as the president of Tyco’s fire and security services Asia division, based in Singapore. He led a multinational team of 11,000 employees in 12 countries, growing the division to $1 billion in annual sales of its electronic security systems, fire-protection, detection and suppressions systems, and related services.

Barry succeeds David Crawford, who is retiring from the post after more than 25 years with American Home Shield, a servicer of home warranties with more than 1.3 million customers in 49 states. Crawford has been AHS president since 2006.

AHS is a pioneer in the home warranty industry, serving more than 1.4 million customers across 49 states of America, and is one of the best service provider in America.

The company offers home protection plan, a service contract which covers the repair or replacement of home appliances and components. It also offers home care advices in the areas of maintenance, tips and also guides towards aspects involved in buying and selling of homes, inspections etc.

It was founded in 1971 and is headquartered in Memphis, Tennessee with service centers in Georgia, Iowa, and Tennessee. American Home Shield Corporation operates as a subsidiary of The ServiceMaster Company. It employs 1,700 employees and has over 11,000 approved, independently insured service contractors nationwide.

The ServiceMaster Company is one of the world’s largest and most versatile service networks. The company’s network includes TruGreen, Trugreen Land Care, Terminix, AHS, ServiceMaster Clean, Merry Maids, Furniture Medic and AmeriSpec.

Barry said in a recent phone interview, in his career he saw the penetration of household-alarm systems jump from about just 2 percent in the early 1990s to close to 30 percent.

“The (home-warranty) industry has the same potential to do that,” he says, “We are passionate about our commitment to grow in the real estate space, but we also know that we have the potential to grow beyond that niche and reach even more households.”

“He says a key to growth is getting the message to prospective customers on the value of American Home Shield warranties.

Last month he visited Carroll, Iowa and received inputs from department representatives and also visited city mayor Adam Schweers and Area Development Corporation executive director Jim Gossett.

Barry says he’s impressed that AHS’s employees are “incredibly well-focused” and the business is a “well-operating organization.”

The company has added more employees and with a promising president it is all set to grow and take the home warranty industry to a new level.




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.




The Illinois department of insurance issued a warning earlier this year to its residents to avoid a Florida based home warranty company Arkidus Home Protection, Inc. Arkidus had been unlawfully advertising home warranty services via the internet to residents of Illinois and in many cases there were documented incidents of these consumers who purchased a warranty not receiving the services promised to them.

The company and its owner, Reinaldo “Ray” Berges has previously been served with a cease and desist order by the Illinois Department of insurance, but continued offering service coverage for household appliances and major system components. The company had its headquarters in Miami though more recent reports suggest that office has been closed for many months.        Arkidus Home Protection

The company has not been granted any certificate of authority to sell insurance or home warranties to the consumers in the state of Illinois, thus the cease and desist order from that state was issued.  This unfortunately may not help recover the money lost by the Illinois consumers who purchased home warranties, also referred to as residential service contracts or home service contracts.

According to the Better Business Bureau (BBB), The consumers have launched over 245 complaints against the company in last three years. BBB indicates in its report that Arkidus conducted its business through a website, www.theahp.net.

BBB is a non- profit organization more than a 100 years old functioning in U.S and Canada. It collects and provides free business reliability reviews on over 4 million businesses. The BBB plays the role of an intermediary between businesses and consumers. Though it is not mandatory for any firm to get accreditation from BBB such accreditation is sought by some companies in order to build faith in their business.  Arkidus is not accredited by BBB and thus the amount of involvement BBB may have had with Arkidus’s customers would have been limited to collecting and documenting complaints and then reporting complaints to the company.  For further recourse consumers who have complaints against Arkidus would likely need legal representation or assistance from consumer protection entities.

According to publicly available information Illinois’s Department of insurance has also received many complaints from customers of Arkidus who allege they have been tricked by that company and were unable to obtain reimbursements for their claims or their canceled contracts.

The complaints from consumers are also publicly available on various websites.  One such complaint posted online was from Jose. E who is a resident of Florida.  In his post he said, “This Company is a scam. I started service with them in May, and they will not honor their policy. I keep getting calls from companies that were dispatched by them. I needed a plumber and an electrician, and both have been harassing me with the remainder of their bill, even though I paid my deductible. Do not purchase anything from this company, they are frauds.”

Arkidus appears to have ceased doing business but for a time the company was successful persuading customers to pay long term contract fees, in some cases for terms of two years or more. These customers spent thousands of dollars in some cases, all of which they now face losing forever.  If significant legal action isn’t taken against the owner of the company it is unlikely that consumers will receive any reimbursement and this whole story will end sadly.  Hence we warn our readers to be cautious about choosing home warranty companies with very little business history, no matter how positive the early reviews of the company may be.

Tips to prevent you from becoming a victim of similar home warranty and insurance scams

  • Reading about incidents like the ones surrounding Arkidus Home Protection’s brief business in the home warranty space may leave you wondering if there is a way to avoid becoming a victim. Here are some things you can keep in mind when choosing an insurance company or home warranty company.
  • When shopping for home warranty or insurance make sure any company you consider doing business with is properly registered and if licensing or bonding is required by your state be certain those things are in order as well.
  • Check a company’s background, reviews and the companies’ customer complaint records which can found on the company’s local Better Business Bureau website.
  • Never purchase financial products such as home warranties or insurance policies from a company which solicits your business at your door without doing the same homework you would with any other company.  Impulse purchases from hard-sales-tactics sales people are very often regretted by the consumers making them.
  • When dealing with sales people face to face try to develop an eye for details, study the business cards and other documents and verifying that the business address furnished is authentic and not just a P.O. Box, short term single office rental or other temporary type of mailing address.  Though legitimate and not alone a sign of trouble, short term addresses and discreet addresses may be a warning sign that you won’t be able to track anybody down when you run into trouble with the product you bought.
  • Always demand a contract for the services provided, claims and reimbursement, and other provisions and then study the fine print carefully before signing the document or making a purchase.
  • Always ask for a bill or invoice and never pay by cash.  Using a check or a credit card can sometimes help you when you seek reimbursement after not receiving what was promised to you by the merchant.

If you suspect you are dealing with the wrong people already or believe you too have been scammed do not delay making a formal report to the appropriate agency or agencies.  Both at the state and national level in the U.S. there are free and fast ways to make your voice heard when you feel you’ve been misled by a business or been the victim of a scam.  The important thing is to act quickly and not give up if you feel your complaint is being documented but not being acted upon.




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.




Claim Denial Reasons Found this useful? Share this with your friends and family, hit the share button and help someone out. Cheers!

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Claim denials are often said to be the most annoying experience for home warranty customers. Although most cases happen due to misunderstandings, we do agree that some companies do deny claims on vague grounds for their profit. But a reputable company would never do that. Let’s take a look at this infographic. It explains the common reasons behind home warranty claim denials and how a customer can verify if the grounds for denial are genuine or not. As shown in the infographic, the most common reasons for claim denial are:
  • Improper maintenance
  • Item not included in coverage
  • Improper installation
  • Damage resulted due to natural hazards
  • Damage resulted from crimes

Some of the above mentioned cases can be avoided, while some cannot be. In situations where the company says that the home warranty claim cannot be processed because the item is not covered or that the damage is due to improper maintenance, refer to your contract. If they say that the damage was pre-existing, there is hardly a way out unless you had a home inspection performed prior to purchasing the contract. Likewise for damages due to crimes and natural hazards, one needs a home insurance and not a home warranty. Which is one reason why you cannot replace a home appliance warranty with a home insurance or vice versa.

How to Minimize Your Chances for Claim Denials?

So now the question is, how do we avoid such incidents of claim denial? Simple, pick a great company. Like the infographic tells us, you have to do rigorous research before picking a warranty provider. This website could be a starting point for that. We have reviews of tens of thousands of customers which can help you choose a reputable company. Once that is done, review the contract or policy document thoroughly. Once you feel that the company is good and that the contract is drawn up pretty decently, you may proceed with the purchase.

How to Dispute Unfairly Denied Claims?

In spite of all the research that you did and picking a good company, if you still find that your claims are being denied unjustly, you can dispute the claim. This basically means to go behind them until they set things right and make amends. It’s quite easy, follow the steps mentioned in the last section. Keep in mind that companies won’t give up that easy, so you make have to make multiple calls to convey your point. While disputing claims, keep the following in mind:

  • Always be polite while speaking to the representative
  • Gather all the information required before making the call
  • If you are sure that your claims are being denied unfairly, inform the company that you will complain about them to concerned authorities like State Insurance Boards and small claims court.
  • You can also share your experience through review websites like HomeWarrantyReviews.com and through various social media pages.

Chances are high that the company will come around and accept you claim.




In the past year, over 32 real estate agents have helped consumers with more than 13 residential home sales in Houston, Texas. The oil slump can’t hold back Houston’s top realtors as the Houston’s housing market is performing extremely well. Sales have ranged in price from $99,000 to $697,500. Now, homes are available for a variety of price ranges – from about $300,000 near downtown to around $2 million in the best neighborhoods along the city’s Energy Corridor.

Best-Realtors-and-agents-of-Houston

Below is the list of Houston’s leading realtors based on their gross sales volume in dollar amounts, the number of transactions and the average price of homes sold-

Paige Martin

Houston-Realtor

A Houston-area native, Paige is a proficient and successful partner in any residential real estate transaction. Armed with an in-depth knowledge of Houston real estate market, her skills have marked her as one of the most preferred agents in Houston. With a customer-focused approach, Paige is dedicated to providing brilliant service. After graduation from Baylor University, Paige started her career as a marketing consultant, developing individually-tailored marketing techniques for her customers. She now employs those cutting-edge skills to aid her customers to buy and sell their homes with the least amount of stress. She monitors clients through every aspect of learning about Houston, relocating to Houston and ensuring hassle-free real estate transaction.

Paige Martin, a Broker Associate with Keller Williams Realty and owner of HoustonProperties.com is ranked as one of the top residential real estate agents across the world. Her website HoustonProperties.com features more than 1,200 pages of Houston real estate information on over 40,000 properties for sale in addition to a large number of resources for home sellers. Paige has successfully sold over $250million of homes and is listed among the Top 25 Residential Realtors in Houston for the second consecutive year in terms of individual gross sales and transactions. She has also been featured on TV and in several publications including:

  • The Wall Street Journal
  • Fortune Magazine, Reuters
  • Fox News in the Morning
  • Money Magazine
  • Houston Business Journal
  • The Houston Chronicle
  • Downtown Houston Magazine
  • Texas Monthly Magazine

Paige has been a consistent top producing agent and has won over 198 awards since 2003 for excellence in customer satisfaction. Her recent awards include:

  • 2016: One of the Top 25 Residential Realtors in Houston, Houston Business Journal
  • 2016: Five Star Realtor, Featured in Texas Monthly
  • 2016: One of America’s Best Real Estate Agents, RealTrends.com
  • 2015 Q3: #9 Individual Agent, Keller Williams, Worldwide (of 125,000 agents)
  • 2015: #2 Individual Agent, Keller Williams, Texas
  • 2015: #1 Individual Agent, Keller Williams, Southwest Texas (Houston, Woodlands, Katy, San Antonio)
  • 2015: #1 Individual Agent, Keller Williams, Houston
  • 2015: #1 Individual Agent, Keller Williams Memorial
  • 2015: One of America’s Best Real Estate Agents, RealTrends.com
  • 2015: One of the Top 25 Residential Realtors in Houston, Houston Business Journal
  • 2015: Five Star Realtor, Featured in Texas Monthly Magazine
  • 2014: One of America’s Best Real Estate Agents, RealTrends.com
  • 2014: One of the Top 40 Real Estate Agents in Houston, Houston Chronicle
  • 2014: #1 Ranked Individual Agent, Keller Williams Memorial
  • 2014: Five Star Realtor, Featured in Texas Monthly Magazine
  • 2013: Top 50 Houston Realtors by the Houston Chronicle
  • 2013: #1 Ranked Individual Agent, Keller Williams Memorial
  • 2013: Five Star Realtor, Featured in Texas Monthly Magazine
  • 2012: #1 Ranked Individual Agent, Keller Williams Memorial
  • 2012: Top 5 Ranked Individual Agent in the Houston Area with Keller Williams
  • 2011: #1 Ranked Individual Agent, Keller Williams Memorial
  • 2011: Top 10 Ranked Individual Agent in the Houston Area with Keller Williams
  • 2010: #1 Ranked Individual Agent in the Keller Williams Memorial Office
  • 2010: Top 10 Ranked Individual Agent in the Houston Area with Keller Williams

James Krueger

Houston-RealtorWhether you are buying or selling a home, James Krueger can help you win at real estate! He is the owner of Kruger Real Estate which was founded on a corporate philosophy of devoted commitment to quality service. Upon graduating from Texas A&M University as an All-American archer and economics major, Kruger worked as a business analyst for Reliant and then a consultant for an executive compensation firm. He believes that excellent real estate service begins with personalization – with one agent who listens, learns your goals and helps you accomplish them. Krueger Real Estate agents are backed by a team that keeps you informed through every step of the home buying or selling process while giving you unmatched customer service. As a former litigation, Kruger understands legal contracts and also knows how to value a property to get you the best possible deal.

Krueger Real Estate mainly serves the Greater Houston Area and surrounding areas including Katy, Cypress, Sugar Land, The Woodlands, Spring, and Tomball. Krueger is pioneering an exclusive model to improve agent retention and client satisfaction. Unlike many traditional brokerage firms, Krueger Real Estate pays attention to duties that a realtor at other brokerages is responsible for. It provides a distinct advantage in maximizing the exposure of their listing through online, print, and social media outlets. The local experts assure you of professional photographs, proficient staging and presentation guidance, an online marketing blitz campaign and thorough listing descriptions that will make your home noticeable from the rest. “If I can create an amazing place to work, I can attract super high-quality agents who attract high-quality clients,” said Krueger, broker and owner of Krueger Real Estate.

Krueger Real Estate employs a client relation management system to keep an eye on its clients and has a call center that tries to answer all new client queries within 3 minutes. Krueger’s client focused approach seems to be working and has helped him grow his company. In 2013, Krueger started with 8 agents who made $27 million in home sales and the following year he grew his company to 15 agents who brokered $46 million in home transactions. In 2015, with 45 agents, Krueger’s firm collectively made $65 million in closed and pending sales. Krueger aims to crack $100 million in sales in 2016 and has a dream to grow his company to 250 agents, expand to the four major Texas markets and break the $1 billion home sales mark by 2020.

“I always wanted a fun, cool place to work, so when I started my company, I wanted to make it an enjoyable place to work,” Krueger said. “A company isn’t anything without the people you have on board.”

Krueger has been named the Top Producer by the Houston Association of Realtors for 2012 and 2013. He is a certified negotiation expert (CNE) and has the following Professional Real Estate Memberships:

  • Accredited Buyer Representative (ABR®)
  • Short Sales and Foreclosure Resource (SFR®)

Lance Loken

Realtor-Houston

Founder of The Loken Group, Lance Loken strives to be the excellent real estate service provider in all 9 countries in the Greater Houston Area. The group is backed by a team of specialists out of the Keller Williams Realty Signature office who serves real estate buyers, sellers, and investors to make your home buying and selling experience pleasant. By employing the newest technologies, business tactics, and market research, the agents are able to list your home strategically and effectively. Most importantly, the agents listen and find solutions that are tailored to you.

Prior to entering real estate, Loken worked as a C-Level executive for firms like The Wood Group Renewable Energy Service, Francesca’s Collections Inc., and C.D. Johnson Companies which helped him shape the way he approaches real estate. “My goal is to always be your real estate SOLUTION – whether that means helping you buy, sell, invest or rent,” Loken said. Loken is an Accredited Luxury Home Specialist (ALHS) and a Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist (CLHMS).

From paperwork to marketing, The Loken Group stand by you in every step of the way, replying to your questions and offering exceptional customer service. They were recently named:

  • #3 out of all Real Estate Teams in Houston (Ranked by Number of 2014 Closed Transactions – 662 by the “Houston Business Journal”)
  • #20 out of all Real Estate Teams in The United States (Teams by Transaction Sides in 2014 – 658 – by REAL TRENDS (“Wall Street Journal”))
  • #3 in all Keller Williams agents worldwide (based on units closed in 2015)
  • #1 Best Place to Work in Houston (Medium Companies, 2015, “Houston Business Journal”)
  • #79 (Teams by Sales Volume in 2014 – $137.3 mil) in America by REAL TRENDS (Wall Street Journal)
  • #303 in the Inc. 5000 List of America’s Fastest-Growing Companies

The team of specialists at The Loken Group manages clients in all price ranges. Their luxury division is backed by proficient luxury experts who help clients in more than $650,000 price range.

Alfonso Parodi

Realtor-Houston

Alfonso Parodi obtained a Business Administration degree with a Minor in Marketing from University of Lima, Peru. Thereafter, he moved to Houston and lived there for 9 years where he had the opportunity to attain extensive experience and training in Sales including residential lending, real estate, retail, networking, recruiting, marketing and primarily customer service. Parodi is competitive and goal-oriented with a passion for delivering outstanding customer service. In just 3 years, Parodi has become a top agent at Realty Associates in Houston which is home to more than 1800 agents.

Alfonso founded Team Parodi in 2013 whose focus is to bring the best group of agents together with a support team of award winning interior designers, experienced inspectors, proficient photographers and all other experts to help customers buy and sell their homes in areas such as Cypress, Houston, Humble, Katy, Tomball and more. Team Parodi at Real Associates is proud of each purchase or sale that aids clients to attain their dream home!

The technology savvy agents employ the cutting-edge tools and programs to give their clients an advantage in the fast moving and super competitive market for a successful transaction. Currently, Team Parodi is backed by 6 key members and will be adding more agents to be better prepared for a very busy future market. Whether buying or selling a home, Team Prodi is ready to be your trusted resource.

Owing to his excellent communication skills and expertise, Parodi is selected and recommended time and again by his clients. He has been awarded in the top 1% Buyer Agents among 25,000 agents and also:

  • recognized by Houston Association of Realtors in 2012, 2013 and 2014
  • awarded the esteemed 20 Rising Stars under Age 40 by Next Generation of Realtors (Houston Association of Realtors)
  • named 2015 Top 250 Latino Agents in the US by NAHREP

With professional accomplishments in both experience and education, Parodi maintains the Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) Designee. Presently, less than 3% of 1 million agents carry this designation. Besides, he has the following Professional Real Estate Memberships:

  • Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR®)
  • Graduate Realtor Institute (GRI®)
  • Short Sales and Foreclosure Resource (SFR®)
  • Texas Realtors Leadership Program (TRLP)

Angela Pipes

Realtor-Houston

Angela Pipes is a Licensed Real Estate Agent at Redfin Corporation with 17+ years in the Houston Real Estate market representing both sellers and buyers. She is passionate about the relationship with her clients which helps her adapt to their needs and receive referrals. Whether you are a first-time buyer or an accomplished seller, Pipes would guide you through the entire process. A member of the Houston Association of REALTORS, Pipes has established a reputation for being proficient in handling land sales, new construction, investment properties and resales including historic homes in the Heights, Montrose and other neighborhoods such as Katy, Memorial, Spring Branch, Clear Lake, and Galveston.

Pipes mainly works in the urban communities of Houston and keeps abreast of real estate developments and attending community events. She is an advocate for those interested in building better practices, smart growth and energy efficiency. Pipes works closely with her clients to make sure every sale closes without a hitch. She is always accessible, prompt, and thorough with her clients’ requests and her quick response time with emails is appreciated as well.

Angela Pipes has been qualified as a Top Production REALTOR based on 2016 second quarter listing side number of MLS sales transactions of the Houston Association of REALTORS. This certification is given to those who aim to maintain the highest ethical standards and whose production ranks among the highest number transactions within HAR’s 25,000 brokers and agents. As a Certified Negotiation Expert (CNE) and Accredited Luxury Homes Specialist (ALHS), Pipes has proven to be a valuable asset to Redfin and to her clients.




An offshoot of Home Warranty, Structural Warranty is a legal agreement between the builder of the home and you – the owner. Structural Warranty functions basically in the case of new homes, wherein the builder assures that the home he has built will have no structural defects for a period of ten years after its construction. His claim is covered by the company which offers him warranty coverage for the building, at times additionally including workmanship and internal systems.

Top tips for Structural Warranty for Newly constructed homes

The system functions just like Insurance, but covers defects which may occur due to age and wear and tear, not natural disasters or unforeseen circumstances. Like the Home Warranty covers the items in a home – its appliances, wiring and plumbing systems, interiors etc. – Structural Warranty covers elements like the foundation, girders and beams, roofing, and flooring.

What is Structural Warranty?

Before the purchase of a home, it is advised for either the new owner, seller or realtor to purchase Home Warranty, in order to establish a relationship of trust and confidence in both parties involved. Just as a Home Warranty leaves the new owner knowing that his home and all that is in it is secure for at least a year after its purchase, Structural Warranty establishes the same sense of security in the buyer of a new home straight from a builder.

It is rather simple – all structural defects are now to be fixed by the company that the Warranty has been purchased from or by the builder offering the warranty himself, and as long as the terms and conditions are met, neither the builder nor the new owner is liable.

Is Structural Warranty Necessary for me as a Buyer?

We see before our eyes appliances, electrical systems and plumbing leaks occur every once in awhile – but most of the time structural damage is noticeable only after it is too late. Given that large parts of the US are known to have soil that expands with seasonal changes, statistics show that more than 25% of all buildings in the country experience some kind of structural damage during the first decade of their life, almost 10% of this being major and often irreversible.

It isn’t always about how reputable the builder is, in fact, the more reliable the builder the higher the chances are of them investing in warranty for the homes they have built. Years after a deal is signed, sealed and delivered, a matter like soil expansion that is out of the hands of both the parties can spring up, making Structural Warranty the only way to guard against massive expenditure out of your own pocket in the future. Studies show that the warranty is most often claimed 4 to 7 years after a home is built to completion.

The Builder’s Perspective

Settling Terms of the Deal

The chances of an individual investing a sum as large as the cost of a home in anything else in his or her lifetime is very slim, making this purchase one that could develop complications if not done right. Builder’s offering Structural Warranty for the home they have built can not only assure the buyer of their expertise but also give them a legal document to go back to in case frivolous lawsuits or complaints are lodged. Like in the case of any two-way agreement, responsibilities, terms, and conditions are clearly outlined.

A Middleman

If a third party company is used to establish a warranty, then any complaints, disputes or discussions will be handled by them – until the point of reconciliation. This saves time and discomfort for both parties involved, especially the builder.

Value of the Home

If you happen to be a builder with larger holdings or varied properties and houses, then the value of each building is sure to increase if Structural Warranty is added to the mix. Use it as a marketing strategy, one that is true to every word and will help you build lasting relationships with your clients.

How Structural Warranty Works

Structural Warranty functions according to the guidelines of the Housing and Urban Development department of the US, which stipulates particular criteria within which a company must cover damages. Larger builders may choose to provide their own Structural Warranty schemes to the buyer, while builders without a department to handle such claims or smaller building agencies may choose to use third-party warranty companies. Even more so than Home Warranty claims and structures, Structural Warranty coverage and insurance backing vary drastically from builder to builder and company to company. If you happen to be a part of the decision making of who to choose, make sure you do your research and pick a coverage that is extensive and appropriate to your home.

What Structural Warranty Covers

If you go through a Structural Warranty contract or guide, you will notice one important point – the extremely specific and near legal language used to describe what that particular company or builder covers. Structural Warranty owes this specificity to regulations set by the Housing and Urban Development Department of the US, as well as to the builders’ need to protect themselves from futile claims and lawsuits.

Due to each Structural Warranty being unique (much like Home Warranties state-wise laws), we will get into what the warranty covers in general. Know that this isn’t ironclad, and you have to cross check the terms and conditions with your builder.

As a whole, third-party companies offer two kinds of warranty, one which accounts for any damage to the structure of the building from the moment the deal is closed between the builder and buyer. The second stipulates that the company will only begin to cover damage to the home 3 to 4 years post the sale, implying that any structural damage before then is up to the builder to fix.
Each company usually has a base plan and other additional perks that you can choose to opt for.

The basic coverage usually covers the following:

  • Beams, Pillars, and Columns
  • Girders and Lintels
  • Foundation of the home
  • Masonry arches
  • Roof beams, and framing systems
  • Flooring
  • Walls and partitions that bear the load and contribute to the building’s structural validity.

The last of these, load bearing partitions, are often accompanied by the additional coverage of non-load bearing partitions. These claims are almost purely cosmetic, and certain Structural Warranty companies do assure the fixing of these, keeping in mind the original material integrity of the home.

Integral to any warranty and insurance difference, Structural Warranty doesn’t cover any damage due to natural disaster, accidents or unforeseen circumstances; anything that is covered under insurance, basically.

Lastly, any structures added to the original home – an extension, outhouse and detached garage space for examples – would not be covered. If the need is felt, the builder could then purchase a separate Structural Home Improvement Warranty.

The Cost

Individual state laws in the US tackle Structural Warranty in different ways, making the cost different in each state as well. On an average, if the basic warranty is purchased, then it shouldn’t cost more than 1% of the purchase cost of the home. In most states which are positioned in low-risk areas (minimal soil expansion, etc.), the price is only about half a percent of the home’s price, whereas in high-risk zones the price can go up to 1.5% to 2%.

When looked at it in terms of a median example, while Structural Warranty would cost anywhere between $500 and $1500 for ten years, the repair in case of structural damage could be between $50,000 and $100,000; Structural Warranty being about one percent of the estimated repair budget.

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Georgia, the state that has everything from marshlands to beautiful beaches! This state has many things to be proud of and on top of the list is the fact that its capital city, Atlanta is the birthplace of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. For the 10 million Georgians out there, here’s an article that discusses some of the best home warranty companies in your state.

There are many home warranty companies out there, but some of them stand out from the rest due to an enhanced customer service and benefits that they provide. In this article, we are going to be talking about the top 5 home warranty companies listed on our website as of September 2015.

Home Warranty Companies in Georgia

1. American Home Shield (AHS)

Services Offered

Reviews about this company suggest that they offer excellent services when you get their coverage and they will always find the most professional work for the best deals. That is what home warranty services are all about and these guys do it extremely well. They have been in the business or a very long time and they know exactly what people need and what kind of plans they should be providing to them.

Client feedback

The general feedback from customers is that AHS is a truly incredible service provider that goes the extra mile for their customers and that is the thing that really makes them the best at what they do in the eyes of hundreds of customers who have left their feedback. This is the kind of customer feedback that can be extremely good and it can make a company gain a great reputation fast.

Plans Offered

They are offering some excellent home warranty plans that are going to be extremely beneficial to a lot of people. There are also many variations of each one of these plans and the price ranges are pretty good. There is a good chance that you will find one plan that will be ideal for your needs.

One of the best things they offer is the “Build Your Own Plan” option, which basically allows you to customize the coverage and this makes it even easier for you to get something that fits your budget and needs.

2. The Home Service Club

Services Offered

These guys really go the extra mile with their 24/7 customer service features and they will get people to repair an appliance of yours fast and efficiently. This is the one thing that makes the Home Service Club stand out from the competition in a very positive and appealing way. People like the idea of being able to ask for help at any hour of the day and even at the latest hours of the night. No matter how late or how early in the morning, they will have someone answering their phones and providing emergency services to you if necessary.

Client feedback

The client feedback for the company is predominantly excellent and there are many people who are always giving praise to their 24 hour availability. There is no doubt that these guys have earned a good reputation. There are a few disgruntled customers who report having to call third parties in regards to some issues, but 99% of their feedback is excellent.

Plans Offered

They have a standard plan which is good enough for most people and they have a comprehensive plan that gives coverage to a larger number of states.

3. Home Warranty of America

Services Offered

Home Warranty of America is very proud of the way they strive to simplify the lives of their customers. They provide help with very immediate responses and that is what makes them part of this top 5. This is the kind of customer service that needs to be provided to the customers if a company wants to be able to gain any kind of respect and positive reputation.

Client feedback

The Client feedback is for the most part very good and there are many customers who are very satisfied with the service. You will find that some people who own very old appliances will complain that they did not get assistance for those items, but most people seem very satisfied with the service. It’s remarkable to see a company with such a high rate of satisfaction from its customers.

Plans Offered

Their customizable home warranty plans are very efficient and a lot of people have mentioned that they have a lot more options available since they started using this company. This is one of the reasons why it’s so highly recommended to anyone that wants to get proper home warranty plans for their appliances.

4. 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty

Services Offered

2-10 Home Buyers Warranty has a host of online and offline services for their customers. They have a large contractor network of over 10,000 licensed and experienced technicians. The company takes pride that they have served more than 2.5 million American homeowners so far. The official website of 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty provides customers with the provision to manage their account online and also place and track claims through the Internet.

Client Feedback

This is a company that has been  in the industry for close to 30 years. They’ve built a strong reputation for themselves and is therefore a popular choice among new and existing homeowners. Feedback from customers was mostly positive with some instances of claim denials being reported here and there. Overall, this is a company that holds an A+ rating with the BBB and is also a favorite among homeowners.

Plans Offered

2-10 Home Buyers Warranty has different plans for homeowners, builders and real estate agents. For homeowners, there are two basic plans. A 10 year structural plan and a Systems and Appliances plan. For real estate agents, the company provides one year service agreements for townhouses, condos or multi-family homes. Builders can avail comprehensive protection plans that provide structural warranty and reduce the builder’s liabilities.

5. Select Home Warranty

Service Offered

These guys are known for their quick and efficient customer services as well as their ability to provide the most professional repair services for all the covered appliances. This is a very solid company that has plenty of experience and it has become quite obvious to their customers that they are in this business to stay.

Client feedback

The client feedback is extremely good for this company and there is a very small number of people who have complained about the services not being what they expected, but this is inevitable in any large business. Even when everything gets done as it should, there will always be someone who is not going to be 100% satisfied with the work.

Plans Offered

They have very good standard home warranty plans that cover a wide range of appliances and they also offer more flexible plans that allow their audience to fully customize their services. There is definitely nothing more important than having a certain degree of flexibility when you are working with any kind of flexibility plan and that is all that you really need to learn.

Conclusion

While this article discusses top five companies based on user reviews, we want our readers to understand that this is not some kind of authoritative list. Please do keep in mind that there is a large number of home warranty companies that are just as good and efficient as the ones we mentioned. We actively encourage you to go through our website and the user reviews on it before you make a choice. Plus we’ve got a free quote tool and listings of top home warranty companies serving in each state, which you are free to exploit.

If you think there’s another company that deserves to be on the list, do tell us about it and If you found this article useful, don’t forget to share it with your friends! Cheers!