How to Reduce Your Home Insurance Premium

If you have been planning to buy a house or you have already bought a house, realizing the importance of homeowners insurance is very important. Make sure you have adequate coverage. Studies reveal that approximately 20% of the Americans have cut back on their insurance costs to meet their other monthly financial obligations.

Home Insurance Premium

However, insurance coverage is one thing that should never be compromised upon. Your home insurance should be such that it should not only give you adequate coverage but it should also do justice to the amount you shell out as premium. And your premium should be within your reach. It is only when you find it difficult to make payments for the premium that the insurance policy appears to be a financial burden to you.

The ideal way to find the best quote for homeowners insurance  is to shop around. You can compare quotes online or talk to insurance carriers personally. There are many insurance carriers that offer different plans to meet the requirements of the consumers. You can try out these and after evaluating the pros and cons of the plan, should you buy your  insurance policy.

It is very important that you are not underinsured. If you save some cash now by staying underinsured, you may have to shell out just the double in case of a financial emergency or an unforeseen event.

Ways to cut down homeowners insurance costs

Instead of buying inadequate coverage for your homeowners insurance policy, there are many things you can do to cut down expenses related to your insurance policy in a reasonable manner. Given below are few measures you can take to reduce insurance costs.

  • Do not insure the land, insure your home – The land that is attached to your house isn’t prone to theft, fire or windstorms. So, don’t waste money by insuring the land too. Insure your house and its belongings instead.
  • Enhance safety and security measures – You can install safety devices such as safety alarms and burglar alarm to enhance the safety and security of your house. It reduces the insurance cost to a great extent. And you may also avail discounts up to 20%.
  • Review your policy once a year – You want to get adequate coverage. So, if you review or check your home insurance policy every year, you will be able to make the necessary changes and adjustments as needed.
  • Stick to a single insurer – If you have been with one insurance carrier for several years, your insurance carrier may extend special discount to you. Studies reveal that several insurance carriers offer approximately 5% discount to consumers who have been with the same insurance carrier for a period of 3 years or more. And if you have managed to continue with the same insurance carrier for a period of 6 years, you can as well be given a discount of 10%.
  • Make electronic payments – It has been observed that there are many insurance carriers that charge approximately USD$5 for sending payments by mail. The best way to make your insurance payment is to have your premium deducted directly from your account. So, try to make payments electronically.
  • Review your credit rating – Maintain a good credit rating and make sure you keep track of the same. Often insurance carriers allow you to enjoy better rates if you have a good credit rating,

So, when you have the above measures to keep your insurance cost down, it is not necessary to reduce the coverage to save costs.






Summer 2016 is on track to break records for high temperatures. According to The Weather Channel, some U.S. states will see temperatures well beyond their normal summer levels.  And with the brutally hot weather comes a strain on air conditioning systems with added repair costs if it fails.  Unlike certain appliances in the home or even major systems, heating and cooling systems serve a uniquely important purpose during extreme high or low temperatures.  So downtime longer than a few hours can turn a comfortable house into one that is unsafe to stay in, under the worst of weather circumstances of course.

How-To-Manage-Soaring-Repair-Costs?

Most of our readers on HomeWarrantyReviews.com are familiar with the benefits of home warranties and how it helps in reducing the repair costs.  But even having a home service contract may not be enough protection in the event that temperatures run consistently higher than an air conditioning system can counteract.  Excessive short-term demands on local HVAC repair companies can result in long wait times for customers desperate to get help restoring their A/C operation to normal.  Supplies at the local level of parts and other materials essential to restoring operation of broken air conditioning systems can quickly run out, leaving customers without cooling in their homes for days at a time.  And home warranty companies can find themselves running out of available contractors to send to their customers’ homes when claims for service are filed during these high demand time periods.

In this situation, preparing ahead of time is absolutely essential to a homeowner’s safety.  Here are some key things readers will want to consider, going into what may be for them the hottest one they’ve ever experienced.

Maintain the air conditioning system to reduce Repair Costs!

There is no failsafe trick to beating a rush on air conditioning repair services.  Unless the reader has the luxury of being able to fix the A/C without assistance, there probably isn’t much that can be done to get ahead of other customers when demands exceed supplies in the local area.  So waiting for the cooling system in the house to break down isn’t wise at all.  Instead of finding out the hard way that the system isn’t up to the task of maintaining a safe, livable temperature in the home during extremely hot outdoor temperatures, it pays to have the system maintained at least twice each year, ensuring that part that looks like it’s reaching the end of its life is replaced preemptively.  Home service contracts may not cover this type of preventive repair, but when it comes to safety, it never pays to nickel and dime household repair decisions.

Location, location, location!

Under regular demands, an HVAC system may not show that it’s not well maintained or optimally configured.  But put that same system under heavy demands, from really hot weather that lasts days or weeks at a time, and suddenly the flaws become obvious.  One aspect of optimal HVAC configuration that is easy to overlook without professional knowledge is the placement of the external parts of the cooling system.  

The parts of the system that reside outside the home function best when kept clean and out of the way of climatic or other interferences.  Long daily exposure to direct sunlight is not great for a cooling system that is already working overtime to keep the inside of the house cool.  Knowing how much sun exposure the unit is receiving and compensating in some way for units that are overexposed to the added heat coming from a lack of proper shade from the sun can be an integral part of avoiding system breakdowns during periods of very high outdoor temperatures.

Also, it is important to avoid any object being too close to the outdoor unit of the cooling system.  In particular, high grass, other landscaping, fences, foundations, and other obstructions can hinder air flow or block it entirely.  Loose debris from these types of obstructions can clog the unit.  It’s always best to keep the area around the unit clear.

Give the cooling system some help, a break even.

Though sustained high outdoor temperatures may give homeowners no choice but to run the air conditioner non-stop, it’s still possible to do many things to reduce the workload on the system.

Were you raised in a barn?  

Depending on a reader’s age, chances are this sarcastic question is pretty familiar.  But it lived on the tongues of many a mom and dad over the years for good reason, it hits the bullseye for the person paying the electric bill!  Opening and closing doors, leaving garage doors open, opening curtains or blinds that might have helped keep the house cool if left closed, all of these are ways that making bad decisions can heat up the house.  In a summer like the one the U.S. is now facing, it makes that much more sense to do anything and everything to lighten the workload on the air conditioning system.  Check out the list below of ways to lessen the heating effects inside the house of outside high temperatures.

  • Consider putting heat shielding film on windows that get a lot of direct sunlight.
  • Look around the house for electrical or gas devices that contribute to increased indoor temperatures and reduce the usage of those as much as possible.
  • Avoid leaving any exterior door open for longer than absolutely necessary, especially big ones such as garage doors.
  • Close vent louvers in rooms that stay cooler on their own, in order to keep cool air flowing where it’s most needed.
  • Be sure that any ceiling fans in the house are set to the correct direction for the season.  If it’s not clear on the device which way to set the rotation direction switch in the summertime, just remember that the blades should be going in a counterclockwise direction in order to cool the room.  When it’s really hot outside, turn the fan all the way up, so it can give the A/C the most help possible.

Keep it clean, please.

Filters for the air conditioning and heating system are typically not in view all the time.  Things that are out of sight are easier to forget.  So it pays to keep filter replacement on a calendar, where it’s routinely reminding a homeowner to put in a fresh filter.  Anyone who has ever called for HVAC service, thinking the unit was broken, only to find out a clogged filter was all that was wrong knows that it’s cheaper to buy a bunch of filters and keep them on hand than to assume that filter replacement isn’t a big deal.  

Clean filters help keep the air flowing into the interior part of the system freely and cleanly.  Clogged filters clamp down on airflow, which can result in the interior part of the system freezing up and the house heating up, even as air is still blowing out of vents.  One way to avoid forgetting about filter replacement is to sign up for a service like FilterEasy.  With an auto-shipment subscription, homeowners don’t need to try to remember when it’s time to replace the filter or add the filter to a shopping list.  And it’s far cheaper to keep the filter fresh and clean than to wind up with a repair bill.

Don’t wait until it breaks!

Readers who know it’s been too long since the last maintenance visit should stop right here and get to the phone.  Call a reputable HVAC service company before the chance passes and the busy season is in full swing.  If the company offers any type of discount for customers who pay upfront for annual service visits then give those deals some serious consideration.  Even a home service contract probably won’t cover every dollar of an air conditioning repair.  So every dollar saved counts when the system needs expensive labor and parts to get it running again.

Regular maintenance visits typically check for signs of age or unusual wear and tear.  And in some cases, this type of inspection can identify parts of the system that are near the breaking point.  Whenever this happens, readers are encouraged to make the repairs immediately if funds are available.  Though it’s always hard to know that playing it safe resulted in a real benefit for the homeowner, the old saying is true, it is better to be safe than sorry.

Look out for each other when the heat becomes dangerous.

Readers who are qualified to give advice, either because of professional expertise or personal experiences are encouraged to share in the comments below!  Don’t hold back.  You never know when a moment of your time spent sharing comments with other readers might result in saved money, time, or suffering from a house that is miserably hot.




Considering that you are on a website devoted to home warranties, you may already know what a home warranty is. It is essentially a service contract that agrees to provide you with  repair/replacement services for appliances or systems in your home. Most homeowners wonder whether annual premiums are put to better use if they are set aside as emergency fund instead of being paid to warranty providers, hoping that they will come to the rescue if a breakdown happens. The question here is, what if the annual premium is paid and no claim is raised in that year? This article will address the question in detail.

Protect Your Budget

Home Warranty & Budget Protection

 

How Does A Home Warranty Work?

A home warranty company maintains a network of technicians and service vendors, who are dispatched to a customer’s house as and when a claim is raised. The customer is often charged only a service call fee and not the entire expense of fixing a damage. Here’s how home warranty benefits the homeowner

  1. The homeowner doesn’t have to step out of the home to look for a contractor.
  2. The damaged appliance(s) does not need to be taken to a repair outlet.
  3. The cost of repairing the damaged device is usually in hundreds if not thousands.
  4. Some damages are irreparable, which would call for a replacement of the entire appliance, costing a lot.
  5. Home warranties are known in many cases, to increase the sales price of a property.

What they fail to recognize is the very real potential that they will spend more than a few years’ home warranty premiums when a major appliance or system component breaks down without any service contract coverage. Don’t you think it’s worth?

How Does Home Warranty Protect Your Budget?

Many homeowners have expressed concerns about the annual premium that is paid for a year in which no claim was made by them. However, what they fail to recognize is the very real potential that they will spend more than a few years’ worth of home warranty premiums when a major appliance or system component breaks down without any service contract coverage. Minus a warranty, an average repair cost would be around $500-$1000 for a typical household appliance. Replacing would definitely cost more, sometimes several years worth of annual premiums.

As you can see, annual premiums seem like a very small fee in comparison with the amount you would have to pay if an appliance breaks down.

Let’s take an example of a typical homeowner, we’ll call him Mr. Bond. Mr. Bond believed that setting aside $400 every year for emergency repairs would make more sense than purchasing a home warranty plan. Three years into this practice, his HVAC unit decided to call quits. Mr. Bond asks around and finds out (to his dismay) that a high end HVAC system would cost around $5,800. He had saved up around $1200 and all of that wouldn’t help him get a new one.

Had the story been different and if Mr. Bond had opted for a home warranty instead, he could’ve had the replacement done at a fraction of the cost.

When Is A Home Warranty Not Advisable?

The only time it doesn’t make sense to opt for a home warranty over saving that money is when your house and the appliances in it are new. As a rule, home warranty is only recommended for folks whose house and its contents are over four years old. If you belong to this category, then the chances of your appliances or systems breaking down are low. So paying annual premium to a home warranty provider may not make sense, especially when many of the appliances at your house are still under warranty.

The Final Word

If you meet any of the conditions mentioned below, buying a home warranty will likely provide you with budget protection and not to mention, feeling of confidence. Here are the parameters-

  • If your house is 4+ years old.
  • If you are not great at DIY repairs.
  • If you cannot afford expensive repairs and replacements at frequent intervals.
  • If you do not have time to do a repair yourself or go around looking for a contractor.

If you meet any one of the above mentioned conditions, you will probably benefit from an appliance warranty. As long as you go with a company that is reputable, you should find yourself with nothing but pleasant outcomes.

If you are still unsure, we suggest that you look into our guide for home warranty buyers. Once you do that, you may want to look at some of the best home warranty companies in the country to get things started. Should you have any concerns, don’t hesitate to holler at us. Cheers!




Extended warranty sometimes also called as a maintenance or service agreement, is a prolonged warranty given to customers who wish to insure their fairly new devices. They are not always provided by the manufacturer and are usually procured along with or as and when the manufacturer’s warranty expires.

Such extended service agreements are often purchased for gadgets and appliances that don’t come under Home warranty. Eg. laptops, TV, desktop computers. They can be purchased over an existing manufacturer’s warranty so that damages due to accidents are also covered.  They cover repairs and replacements of the insured device for a fixed period of time, which is usually around 2-3 years.

Do I need extended warranty?

If you are wondering whether you need an extended appliance protection plans or not, consider this –

You have a reasonably new device which cost you a lot. It is still covered by it’s manufacturer’s warranty but you are not certain if that will be enough. You fear that accidental damages may occur and you cannot afford to repair or replace the device if it happens. If this is what is going through your head, we recommend that you purchase an extended warranty.

There are quite a few advantages that make you want to consider buying an extended appliance protection plans. Here are a few of them:

  • Extended warranty agrees to repair or replace your appliances if it breaks down after the manufacturer’s warranty expires.
  • They cover most of the electrical and mechanical damages.
  • You may never have to claim anything on your manufacturer’s warranty as the chances of a device failing in the first 12 months of it’s life are low.
  • They are easy to acquire and they give you peace of mind.
  • Almost all major appliances can be covered with an extended warranty.

Although, the advantages may seem great, some experts have the opinion that extended warranty is a waste of money. This is because a decent appliance/gadget manufactured by a reputable company stands very little chance to fail in the first 2 years. It has been noted that retailers make huge profits from extended protection plans as very few consumers claim them.

Also, when it comes to electronic gadgets, it sometimes makes more sense in replacing it with a new one rather than repairing the damaged one. These days you can get a DVD player for around $30, so why then would you spend $20 repairing your damaged DVD player?

Technology is advancing at a very fast pace, unless your device is precious and expensive, we suggest that you think twice and explore a few options before you purchase extended warranty.

You may want to look at the repair rates of the various gadgets in the first 3 years of their lives and then decide if you need to go for an extended protection plan. However, the same cannot be said of Home Warranty, which is always recommended for most homes.

If you feel you don’t need an extended warranty as your appliances are 4+ years old, the best option for you would be a Home Warranty. Find out more about Home Warranty and Home Warranty Companies!

Buying Extended WarrantySource: CBS News

Extended Warranty vs. Home Warranty

extended warranty vs home warranty

Things to keep in mind

While you consider purchasing an extended warranty, ensure that you contemplate on all the points that follow.

  • Contract Terms and Conditions

Make sure that you know how the plan works. Read through the terms and conditions mentioned in both the contract as well as the policy booklet. Understand what damages are covered and what damages are omitted.

  • Term of coverage

All extended warranties do not have the same duration of coverage. The term can vary anywhere between 6 months to 3 years. Be clear on this.

  • Extra charges

Beware of this one. In certain cases you will have to ship your damaged gadget to some other location. If this happens you will have to pay the shipping charges. Not only this, there could be several cases where you will have to spend extra money in addition to the amount you pay for availing the warranty. You can speak to the retailer to clear any doubts you have regarding this.

  • Comparison shopping

A lot of warranty companies are out there that sell extended warranty. Sometimes  it makes sense to consider a few options before you jump into a decision and purchase extended warranty from the retailer. Some companies offer plans that cover a group of devices instead of a single device. These may be much more profitable that purchasing one warranty for a single gadget.

  • Credit card benefits

Before you purchase an extended warranty, check with the bank issuing your credit card to know if you are automatically entitled to an extended warranty if you make a purchase with the card. In certain cases, platinum and gold cards offer this feature to customers.

Getting an extended warranty is not a bad idea. However we urge you to go through everything carefully before you purchase an extended warranty from the retailer. Extended warranties, like we said are only for a single appliance/gadget. While they are not pricey as such, sometimes, for homeowners with ageing appliances find Home Warranty plans more ideal. They are affordable and cover a host of appliances and not just a single one. If you think, an appliance warranty plan is what you need, take a look at the top 10 home warranty companies in the U.S.A. Good luck!




Consider this: it’s a lazy Sunday and you haven’t worked out all week, your stress levels are high. And the doctor says you need to get going and get some physical exercise into your daily routine. You have considered your options – hitting the gym, joining that community swimming pool, going for those morning runs that everyone’s been vouching for – but it hasn’t worked out yet and nothing seems to click. Here’s your answer: start gardening.

Health benefits and peace of mind from Gardening and home warranty

A chance to not only get some quality time with nature but calm your nerves, work your muscles and burn a few calories as well? Gardening just an hour a day is proven to have far reaching impacts on your life. Especially if your day comprises of concrete jungles, desk jobs and skyrocketing stress levels.

Gardening boosts your metabolism and we have studies to prove it!

Research conducted by the Pennsylvania University of Scranton a decade ago showed clear results in favor of gardening as a way to stay fit. This proves that extended amounts of time spent partaking in light physical exertion is a much more effective way of burning calories than bouts of cardio and gym sessions.     

Another study conducted in Michigan State showed that even a mere ten percent increase in greenery in the immediate environment of an individual resulted in a drastic drop of health issues – from lifestyle illnesses to even depression and mental health. 

Getting Your Hands Dirty

The key to a good workout is duration, not just intensity.

It’s not just about burning calories and toning muscles – a consistent routine of balanced physical activity can have an impact on heart functioning, blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, obesity and its side effects, and even premature death. How does this work? Gardening ranges from low to medium intensity, but the constant monitoring of the garden and the level of involvement is never limited to just a single workout cycle; automatically weaving it into your daily routine and making it a habit!

Squats, weights, cardio and sweating it out, all in one.

With the majority of our daily activities involving the maximum use of our arms – and even that not usually in ways good for our bodies – gardening can incorporate the metered use of muscles like hamstrings without adding undue stress to them. Countering the effects that hours of typing on a keyboard or driving a car can have on your back, shoulder, and neck, getting down on all fours and getting your hands dirty can be therapeutic and stretch every muscle in your body all at once.  

Organic vegetables, herbs, and seasoning, all right at home.

Another perk to introducing gardening into your lifestyle is eating what you grow. Directly linked to better diets, organic production of food right at home or within a community can encourage you to follow a diet with nutrition as a priority and simultaneously assure the quality of produce.

Having a hard time getting your children to eat their spinach and peas? Give gardening a shot, working it into their play time as a fun way to grow their own lunches and dinners – who wouldn’t want to proudly eat a tomato picked right from their own backyard!

Anybody can do it!

Ranging from organic farming in the backyard of your country home to just a few potted herbs on the kitchen windowsill, depending on your space constraints, the time you have to spare and your physical capabilities, you can choose the kind of gardening that suits you best.

One for all and all for one

Living in an apartment building which doesn’t allow you space to garden? Community plots are the answer to the space crunch any urban dweller faces today. A great way to catch up with neighbors and blow off steam, all while tilling, weeding and celebrating the earth, community plots give you a chance to delegate and divide responsibilities as well – saving you the worry of who will tend to your precious daisies, trim the hydrangeas and ward off pests from the squash and melons while you’re out on a business trip.

Sky high stress levels and an increase in lifestyles illness in the past couple of decades is evidence enough for the need to go back to our instincts of nature and nurture, and the benefits of gardening seep into areas besides immediate physical well-being.

Nature, nurture, and responsibility.

An equalizer not bound by any hierarchy, gardening is often used as a form of therapy to boost self-esteem as well as inculcate responsibility and appreciation. Giving our nurture gene a space to grow, just the act of giving back can have a tremendous impact on our stress levels and anxiety. Time spent watching each seed sprout and saplings flourish and flower, gardening is a gentle reminder that we humans are not the center of the universe.

Happy hormones!

What is good for the body is also good for the mind.  Exercise, whatever the intensity may be, has a direct impact on not only adrenaline levels but on levels of serotonin and dopamine as well. Both hormones that play a role in fighting depression, the time spent tending to each root and bud isn’t just uplifting in spirit, it literally translates into happy hormones.

Home Warranty For Gardening Buffs

Be it an apartment, a duplex with a yard all to yourself, community plots or a country house, the joy of having a garden can come with an added expense and hassle of maintaining tools and machinery, worrying about seepage and waterproofing and even the occasional crack or two when it comes to deep-rooted plants and creepers.

Don’t let the stress of maintenance come in the way of your quality time with your garden – let the happy hormones flow and pass on the responsibility of care for the home to home warranty companies.

Giving you a chance to delegate home and domestic appliance maintenance to a professional, home warranty saves you the effort of having to rummage through websites and newspaper advertisements for service agents and repair contractors. Providing full coverage of repair, servicing and replacements costs, Home warranty is all about planning ahead. HomeWarrantyReviews.com brings to you a comprehensive list of companies to choose from – giving you access to pros and cons, detailed reviews, do’s and don’ts when it comes to warranty and insurance and even a free Home Maintenance Calculator to get on the spot estimates.

Finding the right match for your Home Warranty needs is of utmost importance; just like every insurance coverage plan is tailor-made for different budgets, levels of involvement, age and usage intensity, Home Warranty has its own set of criteria. Research is key, and the best place to start with is the Awards and Reviews section of consumer research based sites. From categorized awards ranging from service, top rated and regional service, HomeWarrantyReviews.com uses consumer review rates of credibility, retention, satisfaction, online presence, and consumer issue resolution to judge companies that provide nationwide Home Warranty coverage, offering all-round information to customers. What’s more, the companies are divided according to a region as well, accounting for state law differences and tweaks in the coverage plans in various geographical pockets.

Stress, anxiety and an ever-growing list of errands are a part of everyone’s daily routines, why add home repairs and maintenance to the mix? Give yourself the peace of mind to tend to your herbs, flowers, and ferns without the worry of repercussions, after all, what is the point of canceling out the mental health perks of gardening by worrying about broken lawn mowers?!




Home: The Lifelong Dream

Buying your own home is a dream that many of us cherish and wish to realize one day, but with increasing property prices and taxes, it is becoming increasingly difficult to become a homeowner. While the real estate market is booming with hot options, and extensive marketing to push people to buy a new home over renting, potential American homeowners are more skeptical of the costs and potential return on investment than in past years.

homeowner+rent+buy

Important Factors In Decision-Making Of A Homeowner

1. Tenure Of Living

Buying a home is profitable as long as one can commit to living in the home for a longer period, thus avoiding any extra rental expenditure. But with today’s work culture, it has become considerably uncertain to live in the same city forever and hence may put one in a dicey situation to pay for a mortgage as well as rent while moving to a new city for work or studies.

2.  Mortgage Terms

The mortgage terms should be read through and well understood before buying a home as the value appreciation by buying a home could cause loss, if the home maintenance cost like replacing the heaters or repairing a ceiling or water bills and the actual amount of money going into the principal is considered. In such a scenario, you can opt for a home warranty plan to cut down on the maintenance cost.

3. Overall Stability

Overall stability is a factor that dominates each one of your financial decisions. Stability, in terms of job, relationships, promotion, savings, and family plans determine the amount of money that could be needed for future expenditure and can hence allow you to buy a home or not.

Pre-Requisites And Risks Of Buying A New Home

While buying a home can get you some tax deductions, there is a lot of added pressure as well, in terms of an assured amount that’s needed to pay-off the mortgage, unless you wish to lose your assets to the bank. Also, as per figures, value appreciation in property rates since 1975 has been disappointing and not earned much profit to the homeowners in comparison to other investment options available in the market.

Apart from paying for a mortgage, savings for future and sufficient planning for family expansion is also important as the place should meet all your requirements without piling you with a burden, for life.

Benefits Of Being A Homeowner

Owning a home gives people the benefit to painting it the way they desire, or, make a small basketball court in the backyard and add tons of elements that define your personal space, but the fact that it also adds to a lot of responsibility cannot be overlooked. It is suggested that one should be able to pay at least 20% of the sum as down payment while planning to buy a home but at the same time what is more important is to maintain a constant cash inflow for a good 30-yr time until the mortgage is waved off and the property is entirely owned by you.

Also, it is the great freedom to make or change a carpet or any other thing in the home that comes in as a pleasant surprise while owning a home, where people are free to make their own decisions and not worry about a second opinion for changes that they make.

History of Real Estate Market

But the property market has been quite misleading and unforgivable to many, in terms of considering a new home as an investment for future as factors like selling off a home and at an escalated price which is at par with homeowners’ expectations, may not be the case every time. Realtors charge up to 6% of the property price and finding a deal that land you in profit is not guaranteed while making the purchase, as a homeowner. In the case of an emergency, selling a beloved property at loss may come as a shock to many homeowners. Also, dealing without a realtor may close doors to the best possible price for the property.

Perks Of Renting A Home

Rented properties, on the other hand, come with a bag full of its own positives and negatives. For e.g., living in a rented home lets one move to a new place without worrying about anything, unlike owning a home. But there is also a possibility of the owner escalating the rent, or, willing to discontinue the tenant once the lease is over.

Homeowner: Making The Decision

All in all, there is no better feeling that creating a place that’s a representation of one’s personality, beliefs and ideologies. But leaving the emotional part of it, if planned carefully, one can afford to buy a place with a lesser mortgage and lower interest rates and proudly become a homeowner. Also, one may cut down on extra expenses by availing home warranty plans and similar saving options. As long as that takes the time to be realized, living in a rented home away from the hassle of repair and maintenance is a good idea in order to live life freely, and save enough till one can actually afford to buy a home that they can call their own!

 




This is the electronic age. Hundreds of new gadgets and appliances throng the buyer’s market every day. The consumer is literally spoilt with options that tend to reduce the burden and thereby bringing handiness into our lives. The convenience however, comes with many riders. Remember, the onus is on us to conserve energy and shield our resources from superfluous depletion.

Energy Conservation Tips

An energy-efficient home will keep your family comfortable while saving you money. Whether you take simple steps or make larger investments to make your home more efficient, you’ll see lower energy bills. Over time, those savings will naturally pay for the cost of improvements and put money back to where it belonged, your pocket.

Now, let us deliberate and gather some thoughts on saving energy at home. Remember; following these tips promptly have added repercussions too, like increasing the lifespan of your appliances.

Small Appliances

  • Cook with small appliances. Cook with your toaster oven, electric skillet and slow cooker for specialized jobs, rather than the range. Small appliances use less energy.
  • Use the microwave. Microwave ovens shorten cooking times, which saves energy.
  • Run cold water for disposal. Hot water requires energy to warm the water. Cold water saves energy and solidifies grease, moving it more easily through the garbage disposal and pipes.

Refrigerators and freezers

  • Purchase an Energy Star model. When buying a new refrigerator or freezer, look for the Energy Star label. Energy Star refrigerators and freezers can save you hundreds of dollars on your electric bill over the life of the appliance.
  • Select the right size. Determine your household’s needs before purchasing a refrigerator or freezer. One that is too large wastes energy.
  • Defrost a manual-defrost unit regularly. Frost makes your unit work harder and wastes energy. Don’t allow more than one-quarter inch of frost to build up.
  • Stay away from direct heat. Place the refrigerator or freezer away from direct sunlight and other heat sources such as ovens or ranges. Heat will cause the unit to use more energy to stay cold.

 

Dishwashers

  • Run full loads. Always wait until you have a full load before running your dishwasher. You run fewer loads and save energy.
  • Use short cycles. Select the shortest cycle that properly cleans your dishes. Shorter cycles use less hot water and less energy.
  • Skip rinsing dishes. Rinsing dishes before loading them into the dishwasher wastes energy. If you do rinse, use cold water.

 

Ranges and Oven

  • Reduce the heat. Begin cooking on a higher heat setting until liquid begins to boil. Then, lower the temperature and simmer the food until fully cooked. A fast boil doesn’t cook faster than a slow boil, but it does use more energy.
  • Don’t peek in the oven. Resist the urge to open the oven door while baking. Every time you peek, the temperature drops 25° F and requires additional energy to bring the temperature back up.
  • Use retained heat. Turn off cooktops or ovens a few minutes before food has completed cooking. Retained heat finishes the job using less energy.

 

Washers and Dryers

  • Adjust the water level. If you have a washer that allows you to control the load’s water level, adjust the level according to laundry load size. You can save energy by using less hot water for small loads.
  • Run full loads. Always run a full load in your washer or dryer. Running full loads allows you to run your washer or dryer less often.
  • Wash laundry in warm or cold water. Washing laundry with warm or cold water works your water heater less. Use hot water only when the greatest cleaning is needed.

Water Heaters and Water Usage

  • Purchase an energy-efficient model. The initial cost may be more but operating costs are less in the long run.
  • Purchase the correct size. Consider your family’s hot water needs. If your water heater is too large, it uses more energy than needed. If it is too small, you may run out of hot water.
  • Purchase a natural gas water heater. If you currently have an electric water heater, consider replacing it with a natural gas water heater. When it comes to heating water, natural gas is less expensive than electricity, and it heats more water faster during heavy use.

 

Lighting

  • Use Energy Star compact fluorescent light bulbs. Energy Star compact fluorescent light bulbs last longer and use up to 75 percent less energy than standard light bulbs. You can cut your electric bill by $60 per year if you replace the standard bulbs in your five most frequently used light fixtures.
  • Use natural lighting. Open curtains and shades during the day instead of using lighting. Consider skylights and solar tubes during remodelling or new construction design. This allows the maximum use of natural daylight.
  • Plan your lighting. Not every room needs the same amount of general light. Plan within a room to provide general background lighting and supplementary task lighting.

Air Conditioners

  • Purchase an Energy Star model. Energy Star room air conditioners cost at least 10 percent less to operate than conventional models.
  • Use a timer. Set the plug-in timer to turn off the air conditioner when you leave home and to turn it on just before you return.
  • Purchase a unit with varying fan speeds. Use a room air conditioner with fan speed control. This allows faster cooling when needed and quieter, more efficient operation at other times.
  • Keep the unit centrally located. To allow better air circulation, install your room air conditioner in the window or area of the wall that is nearest to the middle of the space being cooled.

Making your home energy efficient can be as easy as discussed above. Who doesn’t want to save money and the planet at the same time?

If you are a responsible homeowner, make sure you have appliance warranty policy to protect yourself from costly repairs.




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

Insurance Claims

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

Here is the excerpt:

…………………………………………………………………………………………..

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

…………………………………………………………………………………………..





Today’s topic:  Customer Service Success Through an Efficient Contractor Network in Home Warranty Industry

LOGO (1)

With thanks to the following participants:

Gwen Gallagher, President, Old Republic Home Protection

Dave Quandt, Vice President of Field Operations, American Home Shield

HomeWarrantyReviews.com is proud to offer the first in our new series of home warranty industry round table discussions.  In this first issue, we hear from two of the top companies in the industry regarding how each of their organizations meets the growing demands from their customers for high quality, timely service from repair contractors.

We asked each company the following three questions.  Their answers bring into greater focus how a very large home service contract provider deals with the challenges of a shrinking labor market while at the same time seeing its customer base increase and the demands of those customers increase as well.

HWR logos

1. Companies in the home warranty industry rely greatly on contractor networks. How does your company approach the job of ensuring quality customer service through a network of contractors?

Gwen:  Old Republic Home Protection sets high customer service standards for our Independent Network Service Providers… and it begins even before allowing them to join our network. Coaching service providers and establishing our service expectations begins with the first contact and continues throughout their tenure in our network.

As a standard, Old Republic Home Protection requires Service Providers to:

(1)  Provide timely and professional service

(2)  Be licensed in the trades they service

(3)  Carry General Liability Insurance

(4)  Charge fair and reasonable rates for parts and labor

(5)  Maintain the requirements on an on-going basis

HWR Industry round table

Prior to signing up, Service Providers receive our Contractor Guide, detailing our operations procedures, service processes, and service expectations. Calls throughout the sign-up process reconfirm our service expectations. We then follow-up each month to reinforce our guidelines, expectations, and commitment to our Plan Holders.

Customer feedback is paramount to the process. We respond quickly and appropriately when our Plan Holders, either through random surveys or interactions with our staff, indicate a potential service issue. We have a team of specialists dedicated to following up on customer feedback, rewarding service providers for excellent performance, coaching them when needed, and removing them from our network when they cannot meet our service expectations.

Dave: We hold our contractors to very high standards of performance and accountability. Last year we reviewed more than 3,500 applications from contractors that wanted to join the American Home Shield network.

Once a contractor joins, that contractor’s service quality is monitored on 15 different performance metrics, including quality and cost factors. Some of the tools we use include:

  •         Monthly quality of service report through customer surveys and comments
  •         Monthly work plan to monitor performance
  •         Monthly contractor scoring on quality and cost metrics

2. Is your company taking any steps to prepare for the forecast shortages of specialty trade workers, such as electricians, in the U.S. in coming years?

Gwen:  We work hard to establish a strong reputation with service providers. We reward service providers who perform well by giving them additional work, filling in the gaps when their retail business might be slow. We pay them quickly and fairly for services rendered and we treat them as part of our team. As such, service providers prefer to work with us and we’ve yet to experience shortages.

Even in regions where there might be shortages from a retail perspective, we seek out experienced tradesmen—those who’ve worked under the guidance of more seasoned professionals for some time—who are starting their own businesses. They find that working with Old Republic Home Protection is a great way to build their client base through word-of-mouth referrals and repeat business from satisfied customers.

We closely monitor every region, ensuring we have sufficient service providers to meet our customers’ needs. We focus recruiting efforts on those areas and trades that dip below our established thresholds. Recruiting can come internally through our team of service provider procurement specialists or externally through referrals from our nationwide sales staff and real estate professionals.

Dave: The biggest shortages we have seen are in the appliance and plumbing trades. We are recruiting in traditional ways, and are even expanding our contractor recruiting efforts using social media and advertising and engagement with trade schools. Getting connected with trade organizations will also help us find and recruit contractors in these areas.

Also, because we’re a business unit of ServiceMaster, we can approach thousands of franchise owners regarding available contractor services.

3. Summers and winters are bringing more extreme high and low temperatures each year. How does your company cope with surges in claims due to weather related strains on systems?

Gwen:  Meeting high demands begins with service provider procurement. Based on years of experience and data analysis, we are able to closely predict our service demands by region as the season’s change. We anticipate surges and plan ahead as opposed to reacting when they occur.

In those parts of the country that have weather extremes, we procure more service providers than meets the typical demand. As spikes occur, the higher number of service providers is most often sufficient to meet our needs.

In extreme weather surges, when spikes in demand are at their peak, we put the needs of our customers first. If our network service providers become overwhelmed, we’re quick to offer approval for Plan Holders to use their own service providers from outside our network. This process helps ensure fast and efficient resolution of the customer’s service issue.

Dave: We are strong advocates of customer education and engagement and share a lot of information and tutorials about the importance of regular maintenance on our Home Matters blog and YouTube channel. We also send out pre-season e-mail notifications to our customers about starting furnaces or A/C units early to ensure they catch any issues before temperatures change.

Because we have more than 1.5 million customers—and receive more than 3 million service requests each year—we have a lot of data around weather forecasts that helps us anticipate peaks in the heating or cooling seasons. With this data, we work with our contractors to plan for capacity in different geographic regions and make sure they are able to prepare from a staffing standpoint to handle the volume.

Our contractor relations teams also keep a close watch on customer saturation by Zip code to ensure we have adequate contractor coverage. If the demand is more than our capacity we immediately start recruitment of additional contractors to fill the gap.

HomeWarrantyReviews.com wishes to thank the participants in this first round table discussion.  For more information about the representatives from the two companies please scroll down.  If your company would like to participate in future round table discussions please click here for more information.

About the Participants of the Home Warranty Industry:

Gwen Gallagher is the president of Old Republic Home Protection (ORHP). For more than 35 years, she has held multiple positions within the company from customer service to financial reporting, becoming president in 1994. Gwen lends her vast experience and industry knowledge to charting the strategic direction of the organization, ensuring production and profit while maintaining its vision of “People Helping People.”

Dave Quandt is the vice president of field operations—and oversees contractor relations—for American Home Shield, the nation’s largest home warranty company. With more than 11,000 contractors in its network, American Home Shield has one of the largest home warranty contractor networks in the country.

Note from HomeWarrantyReviews.com to readers:  Would you like your company to be featured in upcoming round table articles?  Please contact us here.

 




Home is where thy heart is, and there is no greater pleasure than coming back to the place where you belong. But a leaky tap or a broken air conditioner can ruin it all. Buying a home is a huge investment and maintaining it is  equally taxing. Appliance breakdown or plumbing issues not only burn a hole in your pocket but also ruins your peace of mind. Home warranty can be the tool that can make your life hassle free.

What Is a Home Warranty Plan?

Home warranty is a service contract that promises to repair or replace damaged appliances and systems, provided it meets the terms and conditions of the deal.

Guide To Home Warranty

A warranty differs from a general homeowner’s insurance policy in that it covers repairs and replacements of faulty appliances or systems whereas homeowner’s insurance covers your home and its contents from uncertain events  such as loss, theft, and destruction. Home warranty is different from a manufacturer’s warranty as well.

Should You Buy A Home Warranty?

If your appliances and systems are no longer under the manufacturer’s warranty or you just want the added peace of mind, then yes a home warranty could save you money in the long run and cover the maintenance that your home insurance does not.

What is covered?

In home warranty, coverage depends on the value of purchase. In this case, the more the merrier. The coverage groups the appliances into different categories. The following are usually covered in a first-tier or second-tier plan offered by home warranty companies. For a complete list, check what is covered in a home service contract article.

Major appliances

These generally include appliances such as an oven, refrigerator, dishwasher, garbage disposal, microwave, washing machine, clothes dryer and ceiling fans.

Heating and cooling systems

These usually include furnaces, air conditioners, heat pumps and ductwork. However, portable air conditioners and heaters are not always covered.

Plumbing

It includes indoor pipes and drains, faucets, swimming pools and hot tubs.

Electrical systems

Covers electrical panels, wiring, garage door openers and door bells.

Are you a homeowner? a home buyer? a seller? or a real estate professional? It does not matter which end of the deal you are at. Home warranty is bound to benefit all.

Homeowner And Buyer Benefits

A perfect home protected by a home warranty is like a cherry on the icing. It provides peace of mind to the homeowner who otherwise might not be able to meet unexpected repair bills when one has already invested a lot on a house. The benefits of a home warranty plan include:                                                                                                           benefits

  • Cash flow protection on unexpected repair and replacement of appliances.
  • One call and a nominal fee, the issue is sorted.
  • No need to screen and follow up with contractors and other professionals.
  • Most major systems and appliances are covered under the standard plan.
  • Provides ongoing home protection, renewable year after year.

Seller Benefits

A property with a home warranty can generate greater demand. Homes listed with a home warranty are more attractive to potential buyers, and tend to sell faster and often fetch a good price. The benefits of a home warranty for a seller are:-

  • Appliance protection plan as an incentive to attract buyers.
  • Minimal cost premium not paid until closing.
  • Budget/cash flow protection on unexpected repairs.
  • Reduced after sale worries. This means, if a breakdown happens after closing the deal, buyers will call the warranty company not the seller.

Real Estate Professionals Benefits

A home warranty is a very important aspect of the real estate transaction providing many benefits during the marketing period, while the home is under contract and after the close of sale:-

  • Homes with home warranties tend to sell faster and closer to the asking price – minimizing marketing efforts.
  • Reduced after sale hassles – when a buyer experiences a breakdown, they call the warranty company, not the agent.
  • Satisfied clients will generate increased repeat/referral business.

How Do I Select A Home Warranty Plan?

A number of different companies offer home warranty plans. Regardless of who pays for the policy, the buyers should review the coverage from various companies and select the one which suits the best. Read the fine print carefully to spot coverage limitations and exclusions. Be sure to get a home warranty plan that covers “pre-existing conditions” which were not known to the sellers or their agent. Pre-existing defects that were known are excluded from coverage.

Possible Exclusions In A Home Warranty Plan

home warranty exclusions

A home warranty can cover almost all your household appliances and systems, as long as you are prepared to pay for a high level of coverage. Warranties generally do not cover things such as permit fees or hauling fees, nor cosmetic structures that are part of your appliances that can easily be replaced, such as: oven rotisseries, broiling and baking attachments, refrigerator shelves and bins and water filtering devices. Here is a list of possible exclusions which you need to be careful about.

 Structural Problems

Warranties do not cover any structural problems in your home, such as a crack in the basement wall or a leaky roof.

Pre-existing Problems

Even for the things that are covered, a home warranty company will not usually agree to repair or replace appliances or systems that had pre-existing problems at the time when you obtained the warranty.

Lack of Maintenance

The company may not be willing to repair items that were improperly maintained or installed or that violate building codes.

Hidden charges

Take note of any extra fees. Some home warranty contracts charge extra fees in addition to the deductible, including service fees and missed appointment fees.

Limited number of claims

Improper previous repairs, pre-existing problems and more are excluded from coverage. Also, some companies may limit the number of claims you can file.

The pain of finding a repair person or replacing your appliances can be avoided with a home warranty plan. It can free you from the financial burden of expensive repairs and replacements. But, we provide you reviews on companies by many homeowners, homebuyers and real estate professionals. This will aid your efforts to choose the right company suiting your needs. Want to receive quotes from a list of companies? Just provide your zip code and address and the job is done! This means no waste of time in signing up.

Like any other insurance, home warranty is also bound by clauses, therefore read the fine print and make yourself aware about the hidden clauses to make best use of the deal.




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.




On April 20th, 2015, Orlando Utilities Commission(OUC), one of the largest municipal utilities in the country along with American Water, a leading water and wastewater utility company, announced that they will be teaming up to sell home protection plans. The plans will be available to customers in Orlando, St. Cloud and parts of Orange and Osceola counties.

Through this, American Water hopes that they will be able to educate homeowners on their duties about sewer lines and exterior water while providing protection to their home’s plumbing issues and electrical failures.

home warranty plans

Roseann Harrington, the Vice President of Marketing for OUC, is extremely proud of the reputation that OUC has built. She also added that for the last 92 years OUC has provided pure water and reliable energy to their customers and that OUC hopes that their customers will utilise their new home protection plans to add an extra layer of security against unprecedented repair services.

American Water too has expressed their exhilaration in partnering with OUC to provide home protection plans. Malcolm Conner, President of American Water Resources Florida has said that American Water believes that OUC and they share the same kind of commitment to reliability, customer service and community. He also added that American Water expects customers to buy the protection plans they offer to protect themselves against financial demands due to unexpected breakdowns.

Home Protection Plans To Be Offered Jointly

Orlando Utilities Commission had previously requested Proposals for Home Warranty Plans from qualified providers in 2014. Post this, American Water Resources of Florida was granted the contract to offer home warranty services in the territory of OUC.

The protection plans sold jointly by the two companies are said to be a solution for the repairs which are neither the utility’s responsibility nor covered under Homeowner’s Insurance. The protection plans will be managed by American Water Resources which includes functions like setting up a contractor network, providing customer service (in multiple languages) and educating homeowners about their responsibilities.

Details Of Protection Plans

The protection plans offered by OUC and American Water include the following-

  • In-house plumbing protection
  • Interior electric line protection
  • Water line protection
  • Power surge protection
  • Sewer line protection

All customers will receive 24/7 customer support access and one year warranty on all items that are covered. No deductibles will be charged for the services.

For further information about these protection programs, visit the official websites of American Water Resources or Orlando Utilities Commision. In addition to this, if you are an eligible customer, details of how to enroll and other relevant matters will be emailed to you. You can also call to 1-877-320-4624 to get more information.

About Orlando Utilities Commission (OUC)

Orlando Utilities Commission was chartered in 1923 and is a municipally owned public utility which provides electric services and water to residents of Orlando, Florida and adjacent regions. OUC is the second largest municipality in Florida and 14th largest in the country.

OUC is also responsible for the area’s first Solar Farm which installed over 150 vehicle charging stations, thereby implementing a comprehensive recycling program and also encouraging customers to practise wise use of resources.

About American Water Resources of Florida

American Water Resources of Florida is a subsidiary of American Water and has been a provider of home protection plans in 43 states across U.S for the past 14 years. The company has over 1.5 million customers and they hold an A+ rating with the BBB and a customer satisfaction rate of 97%.




Maintaining everything in the home is one of the major concerns homeowners have to deal with. Every homeowner worth his salt will tell you that the primary expenses incurred in the process of home maintenance are due to appliance and system faults.
Home Maintenance Plans

Having said that, we’re sure that everyone has heard of Appliance / Home maintenance plans or simply put, home warranty plans. Such plans are contracts that agree to provide you with discounted repairs and replacement services for household appliances and systems. Do keep in mind that such plans are for ageing appliances that have suffered quite a bit of wear and tear over the years. Appliance warranties only cover damages that are due to age, wear and tear.

Home Warranty – How Does it Work?

The working of such plans are quite simple. You purchase the warranty from a home service provider for a specific duration. During the coverage period, if your appliances / systems breaks down, you only need to  call the your warranty provider. They will send a technician to fix your faulty item at just a nominal service charge fee. The actual cost of repairs will be borne by the company.

Hence, in many ways, a warranty is a wise way to protect your budget from unexpected expenses. To know more about home service contracts, read things to know about home warranty. You’ll find that helpful.

Cost of Home Maintenance Plans

Now, coming to the actual problem that this article addresses, cost of home maintenance plans. In general such appliance warranties are affordable and reasonably priced. Most companies offer a specific set of plans from which you can choose, based on your requirements.

The annual premiums for a home service contract ranges between $200 – $ 600, for a home under 5,000 sq.ft. When you purchase a plan, you will be provided with a policy booklet that explicitly specifies all the items that will be covered. You will also be provided with information about various other terms and conditions. Like we said before, home service contracts do not cover damages due to anything other than age and regular use. For faults due to crime, hazards and other perils, you may want to check the difference between home insurance and home warranty.

In addition to the annual premium, you may also have to pay a nominal fee as the deductible each time you raise an issue. Deductibles usually cost between $50 – $100. There are some companies that offer zero deductible appliance protection plans

Like we discussed before, different providers charge different amounts for their plans. Following are the facts that decide the cost of home warranty.

  • Extent of coverage
  • Type of plan
  • Additional benefits/ services
  • Size of the house
  • Age of the house

If you want to purchase a home warranty plan, we suggest that you get your home inspected first. While some companies offer this service prior to the contract being signed, some companies do not. A home inspection reveals a lot of potential problems that your house may face and the inspector may even recommend a plan to make the best out of home warranty.

Bottom Line

If you are still unsure about home warranty, we suggest that you go through our web site and read some informative articles that may help you solve some confusion. That said, we still think that a home warranty is a clever way to protect your appliances and save cash in the process. Cheers!




Are there scams in the home warranty industry?

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

Home Warranty Scams

Though home owners are not always happy with the speed or manner of the response to their claims it takes more than just complaints to make a true scam. So are there no scams in the home warranty industry? My personal opinion is that there are plenty of scams and if you look back you’ll find plenty more in the past. Does that make the home warranty industry unique? I definitely don’t believe so. Auto insurance, health insurance, home building, government, religion – you name it, there have been scandals and grounds to throw words like scam around. Home warranty is not unique in that it has unhappy customers. Show me an industry without unhappy customers and I’ll be the first to change careers. But like I mentioned before, home warranty customers have been victimized and are probably being victimized even today.

Spotting the scams and the companies that are not operating with the best interests of their customers in mind is the very first priority. This is where home owners and legitimate home warranty companies can work together. Real estate agents, home repair contractors, home inspectors, and many other professional and customer advocacy groups can also help to point out the signs that home warranty companies are not doing what is right for their customers.

 

How do you spot home warranty companies that may be scamming customers?

How can home owners identify home warranty companies that are likely to be scams or just not be doing what is right in terms of their commitments to customers? There are a few basic approaches to getting a good read on a home warranty company and all of them involve some time spent doing home work. What this comes down to really is customers taking their time and not making impulse purchases of home warranty contracts. And during that period of finding out about a home warranty company here are some things home owners would be wise to look out for:

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

 

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

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

 

“The Emperor’s New Clothes”

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

 

“The Ponzi Scheme”

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

 

“The Disguise”

Some people who found bad home warranty companies get away with their misdeeds or only receive a slap on the hand that holds the checkbook. They then go on to start other home warranty companies using new company names and sometimes using different people as the officers or owners of the company. By disguising themselves they evade the public scrutiny that would otherwise stop their scams cold. Home owners caught up in the web of these characters can count on denied claims, shoddy work, unpaid contractors pursuing the home owner for debts the home warranty company owes payment for, and many other unpleasant circumstances.

 

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

For the sake of other consumers, friends, and the home warranty industry where companies work diligently to satisfy their customers, any home owner who feels that a claim was handled unfairly or that there are signs of misconduct on the part of their home warranty company should not remain silent. All too often home warranty companies give the overall industry a bad name with their poor handling of claims, contractor relations, or other important areas of their businesses. And in the case of true scams, more often than not, the people behind the scams only get away with what they do because it takes so long for anyone in a position to stop them to realize what is happening. As consumers realize their options to use government offices, social media, and word of mouth to sound the alarm about bad home warranty companies it will become more and more difficult for new scams to find victims.

 

This is a guest article written by Kevin Wallach. As owner and writer at HomeWarrantyWiz.com Kevin spends a great deal of time collecting information to help his readers better understand home warranty plans. Though home warranty is not the most popular topic online, it does mean a lot to home owners who need help with questions about it.

 




Ever wondered what is the difference between home warranty and homeowners insurance ? Are they not same? Let’s find answers for these questions.

While home warranty and home insurance products may come across as same, they are totally different. The coverage, cost, terms and conditions vary greatly. Home insurance is compulsory in some cases whereas home warranty is a recommended choice.

Difference Between Home Insurance And Home Warranty

difference between home warranty and homeowners insurance

Home warranty offers protection for your major appliances, as well as plumbing and electrical units. It covers the cost of repairing or replacing major household appliances in case they break down, provided they meet the terms and conditions of the home service contract.

Home insurance covers your home in the event of damage due to natural calamity or man-made disasters and offers you liability protection from lawsuits in case of a third party involvement. If your neighbor came visiting you and accidentally fell and got injured and decides to sue you, then home insurance will take care of the claims. Home insurance is mandatory if you have a mortgage on your home.

What Does A Home Warranty Contract Cover?

Items covered by a home warranty may vary by company and plan, but typically includes the following items:

  • Heating, ventilation and air conditioning system (HVAC)
  • Electrical system
  • Plumbing system
  • Water heater
  • Kitchen appliances such as refrigerator, stove/oven/range, built-in dishwasher, built-in microwave, garbage disposal, built-in trash compactor
  • Clothes washer and dryer
  • Garage door opener
  • Coverage for pools, spas, well pumps and other items may be available for an additional fee.

Benefits Of Home Warranty Coverage

To The Homeowner

  • Placing a claim and getting your appliance repaired is lot more easier.
  • Helps save up huge costs.
  • You can get repaired as many appliances you want provided they are covered.

To The Seller

  • Home may sell faster and at a higher price.
  • Protection from after-sale legal disputes.
  • Increases marketability of home.

To The Buyer

  • Warranty coverage on major systems and built-in appliances.
  • Protects your cash flow.
  • Access to network of qualified service technicians at your fingertips.

Home Insurance

In case of an uncertain event like fire, theft, vandalism, or certain natural disasters, the cost of damages are covered. It also covers your personal items and gives you liability protection. Liability insurance will protect you from lawsuits in the event that someone is injured on your property. Home insurance will only insure your personal items in case they are stolen or ruined in a disaster. Repairs and replacements due to wear and tear are not covered.

What Does A Home Insurance Policy Cover?

The insurance policy varies depending on your state of residence and type of policy, but generally it will cover the following.

  • Structure and contents of the house.
  • Personal property such as indoor and outdoor furniture, clothes and home electronics such as computer, TV, stereo, etc.
  • Jewelry may be covered up to a certain value, or itemized for its full value, or excluded entirely.
  • Living expenses if your home is uninhabitable as a result of a natural disaster.
  • Events like theft, vandalism, fire, windstorm, lightning, hail, falling objects such as a tree.
  • Liability claims such as someone got hurt while in your property and decided to sue you. The policy will take care of it.

Benefits Of Home Insurance

Home is the most prized and cherished possession any individual can have and nobody anticipates damages to this, therefore a home insurance provides you the following benefits when you cover your home.

  • Covers accidental damages to your interiors and exteriors as well.
  • Easy to renew all you have to do is pay the premium on time.
  • Processions are covered regardless of new or old.
  • Assures you peace of mind and gives you a feeling of safety and security.
  • Pays for loss and minor damages like broken glass of a window.

Cost/Pricing For Both

A standard warranty runs $300 to $500 for a year of protection, which covers the cost of repairing or replacing a home’s major systems and appliances. Home sellers typically pick up the tab for the first year of coverage. Extended coverage plans for pools, spas and washers and dryers can be purchased at an extra cost.

Insurance cost varies from state to state and depends on the extent of coverage and the location of the property but a standard insurance can cost any homeowners insurance is between $300 and $1,000.

How To Choose A Home Warranty?

When you are planning to buy a home warranty, make sure that you do some research. Check our home warranty reviews section that provides pricing, comparison, quotes and consumer reviews of all major companies. When you are getting price quotes, inquire to look over a sample policy. Bear in mind to understand the entire policy, together with the fine print.

Another advantage of home warranty policy is that it is transferable. That means when you sell the house the warranty would be passed to the new owner. This has proved to be a well-liked feature amongst home buyers as homes having home warranties are selling at increased prices and in much shorter times. This in itself could make it sensible to get a home warranty policy.

How To Make A Claim?

When a covered appliance breaks down you need to contact your warranty company. A warranty company already has business ties with different service vendors. They will in turn contact a service repairman to come to your home and repair the appliance. The repairman will fix the item or recommend replacing it. The service repairman will bill your warranty company directly, but you have to pay a service charge when the repair person visits your home.

How To Choose Home Insurance?

With any kind of insurance, it is always a good idea to shop around and evaluate benefits and prices as most insurance companies will provide you a policy discount. Ensure you read the policy before writing a check and ask any queries that you have in mind.

So, the conclusion is that home warranty and insurance are complementary to each other. You can choose to protect everything you own, provided you can afford to. Keep in mind that these insurance products do cost a bit more, but compared to the benefits they provide and the peace of mind you get, it seems like a very small amount. Insure your home as well as buy a home warranty all within your budget.

 




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

Share this Image On Your Site

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.




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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Ellen Terry

Best-Agent-in-Dallas

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Rene Burchell

Top-Agent-in-Dallas

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

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

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

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

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

 

Dani Hanna

Expert-Agent-in-Dallas

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

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

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

 

Debbie Murray

Super-Agent-in-Dallas

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Laura Michelle

Awesome-Agent-in-Dallas

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

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

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

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

 

Tom Rhodes Jr.

Best-in-class-Agent-in-Dallas

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

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

 

Bill Shields

Experienced-Agent-in-Dallas

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

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

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

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




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

Top tips for Structural Warranty for Newly constructed homes

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

What is Structural Warranty?

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

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

Is Structural Warranty Necessary for me as a Buyer?

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

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

The Builder’s Perspective

Settling Terms of the Deal

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

A Middleman

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

Value of the Home

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

How Structural Warranty Works

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

What Structural Warranty Covers

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

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

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

The basic coverage usually covers the following:

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

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

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

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

The Cost

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

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

Recommended Articles




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!