What Kind of Life Insurance Policy Serves Your Needs?

Life throws many unforeseen things at all of us. As we can’t stop these things from happening, we can choose to give our lives a bit of protection. Insurance is meant to grant us some measure of financial protection, when a disaster occurs. There is plethora of insurance options available and it is suggested by many financial experts to have these insurance policies in place. Yet, with so many choices, it can be difficult to decide what kind of insurance you need to get.

Life Insurance Policy

Buying the right insurance is always decided based on your specific situation. There are however, four insurances that are suggested by most financial experts namely life, health, auto and long-term disability. Each of these covers up a definite feature of your life and is vital to your financial future.

Do I Really Need Life Insurance, and if So How Much?

The greatest aspect in having life insurance is providing for those who depart. This is really important when your family is dependent on your salary. Experts recommend that life insurance policy should cover “ten times your yearly income”. This amount would give a sufficient amount of money to cover funeral expenses, existing expenses and provide your family a financial cushion which will assist them re-group after your demise.

When estimating the amount of life insurance coverage you want, keep in mind to factor in not only funeral expenses, but also mortgage payments and living expenses such as credit cards, taxes, loans, child care and future college costs.

Life insurance is something that will be required by everybody at some point. Unless you work in the insurance industry or are familiar to somebody that does, what do you really know about the life insurance types that are accessible to you? The answer to that question probably is ‘not a lot’, and why you be supposed to?

Types of Life Insurance

Many of us think that there is a common life policy for insurance that everybody procures but this is actually not the case and there is a variety of life insurance that can be bought. Each of the types has its own precise features and benefits that may be of concern to the consumers.

Below is the brief explanation as to what these different kinds of life insurance are in order that you can be familiar with the difference between them.

Life insurance comes in several sizes and shapes, but they generally fall into two categories namely Term Life Insurance and Permanent Life Insurance.

 

Term Life Insurance Policy

This is the most affordable life insurance and coverage in this type is bought for a definite price for a specific period of time. After the demise of the insured, the recipient will receive the death benefit. It makes the death benefit longer only for a definite period and if the insured doesn’t die within the term of the policy, he gets nothing in return.

This kind of life insurance makes logic if you have monetary needs that will reduce over time, such as a child’s tuition or a home mortgage.

Types of Term Life Insurance

  1. Guaranteed Level Term Life Insurance: This is the most common type and is well-liked for the reason of the very low cost and long term coverage it provides. These kinds of life insurance policies have premiums that are intended to remain level for a period of 5, 10, 15, 20, 25 or even 30 years.
  2. Return of Premium Term Life Insurance: This is a type of life insurance policy that gives a definite refund of the life insurance premiums when the term period expires, assuming the insured is still living. This policy is a bit more expensive but the premiums are planned to remain level. Significantly less expensive than permanent types of life insurance, this life insurance policy still may give cash surrender values if the insured doesn’t die. Return of premium term life insurance policies can be availed in 15, 20 or 30 year terms.
  3. Annually Renewable Term Life Insurance: This type of term life insurance policy has growing premiums. The premiums rise each year to reveal the possibility of your death in any given year.  Annually Renewable Term Life Insurance is not popular and is only procured when the coverage is required for one year or less which happens most frequently in business deals.

 

Permanent Life Insurance Policy

Permanent life insurance by definition is a policy that provides lifelong protection. The policy never ends as long as the premiums are paid. In addition, this type of policy provides a savings element that builds cash value over a long period of time.

Types of Permanent Life Insurance

  • Whole Life Insurance:  This is a type of permanent life insurance which is intended to provide coverage for an individual’s whole life rather than a specified term. It is apt to needs that do not decrease over time such as paying estate settlement taxes and costs. Usually, the life insurance rate for this policy remains unchanged throughout the life of the insured. For the early years of life insurance policy, premiums are much higher and these life insurance policies build up cash values which can be accessed by the by the owner of the policy through surrenders or policy loans.
  • Universal Life Insurance: This policy is different from whole life insurance in the fact that this type itemizes and distinguishes the protection element, cash values and the expense element. By sorting out the three elements, the insurance company can put up more flexibility into the life insurance policy which permits the policy owner to amend the face amount or the premium in response to changing circumstances and needs.
  • To age 100 level guaranteed life insurance: This type offers an assured level premium to age 100. In addition, it also provides guaranteed level death benefit to age 100. Most frequently, it is carried out within a Universal Life policy, with an additional feature known as a “no lapse rider”. Some of these plans also incorporate an “extension of maturity” feature, which provides that if the policy owner lives to age 100, having paid “no lapse” premium each year, the complete face amount of coverage will carry on an assured basis at no charge thereafter.
  • Survivorship or 2nd-to-die life insurance: A survivorship policy is a type of coverage that is usually provided either as whole life or universal and pays a death benefit at the later death of generally a husband and wife. It is widely accepted among wealthy individuals since the mid 1980’s as a method of discounting their expected future estate tax liabilities which can take away an amount to over half of family’s entire net worth!A “2nd-to-die” life insurance policy permits the insurance firm to delay the payment of the death benefit until the second insured’s demise, thus creating the necessary dollars to pay the taxes just when they are required! This type of coverage is extensively used as it is less expensive than individual permanent life insurance coverage on either partner.

Once you know the type of protection applicable to you and would like to procure, you can get online rates for the policy you wish. With the help of online life insurance quotes, you are able to examine and compare insurance quotes from various insurance companies.






If you want your appliances to function in top condition, you must take care of them. This will help you save money on repair charges in the future. Here are a few maintenance tips that will help you take good care of you appliances:

Appliance Maintenance Tips

Let’s take a look at some basic yet important maintenance tips for keeping major appliances and systems in good condition.

1. RefrigeratorHome Appliances Maintenance

  • Cleaning is recommended every 6-12 months. Clean the condenser coil of your refrigerator on a regular basis.
  • Freezers should be located away from streaming sunlight or heat sources. Otherwise, they work much harder than necessary. Removing interior ice build-up improves airflow and helps to maintain proper freezer temperature.
  • Ensure that door seals are airtight
  • Always set the interior temperature to around 40° F

Follow the above steps and your refrigerator’s efficiency may increase by 30%! Want  more tips? You can read our Refrigerator Maintenance Guide for some cool information.

Washing machine2. Washing Machine

  • Check the connections where hoses meet faucets for both cold and hot water to ensure that they are not showing signs of leaking. Also check the drain line to ensure that leaks or overflow are not occurring.
  • Check hoses and screens for buildup.
  • Don’t overload the washing machine. If the machine is packed with clothes, it will need more energy to move them around. This means added strain on the washer’s motor, transmission, belts, and other parts.
  • Do not under-load the machine. Small loads can lead to off-balance cycles, which put a strain on the drive components.

Dishwasher

3. Dishwasher

  • Always set dishwasher’s multiple settings to save water.
  • Set the water heater to 120°F.
  • Use the ‘overnight-dry’ feature whenever possible.
  • You should inspect the condition of the door seal periodically and keep it clean. When water or dirt builds up on the seal, it can cause mold growth.
  • When loading your dishwasher, be careful to not damage the racks. Dishwasher racks are typically very expensive and often rival to the cost of a new appliance.

For more information, read dishwasher maintenance and repair guide.

oven4. Oven

    • Clean your range top often.
    • A gas oven with a solid ventilation system is the most energy-efficient choice.
    • Self-cleaning ovens use a lot of energy but are better insulated than other models.

 

  • Follow few basic checks before you call your home warranty people for service

5. Clothes Dryerdryer

  • Avoid overloading. When a dryer is overloaded, it puts a strain on the belt that turns the drum and that can lead to repair
  • Check exterior portion of the exhaust system to ensure that it is not clogged
  • Restricted air flow can tax the motor, but keeping the lint filter and the area below it clean, keeps the dryer operating more efficiently.
  • Clean out the lint filter before every load.
  • Every three months, use detergent to remove the chemical residues that can cling to the lint filter and restrict airflow.
  • Once a month, look at the dryer exhaust duct for crimps and obstructions.
  • Every year, remove and clean out the entire exhaust duct line from the dryer to the outside.
  • Reduce fire hazards by replacing vinyl with something else for flooring.

Troubleshooting Appliances

1. Washing machine: Washer Mold, Washer Vibration and Bubbles in Washing machine

final

  • WASHER MOLD

    – Any washer can develop mold if the lid is kept closed always, trapping moisture within. But more serious issues have been reported regarding mold in frontload washers, especially high efficiency (HE) washers. There are ways to reduce the risk of washer mold, but even with the best of care, some frontload washers tend to have mold issues. This can become a very serious health issue that requires constant attention to minimize the effects on the family. The mold is usually black – the worst kind and sadly it is usually a recurring problem that requires proactive care.

  • WASHER VIBRATION

    – When a washer vibrates and starts gyrating out of place, there’s an imbalance problem which could be due to the wash load, but it could also signal a problem with the laundry room floor.  An imbalanced wash load is easy to fix, just cancel or pause the cycle and redistribute the load. At the most, you may have to add a large towel or two to help balance the wash and resume the wash cycle.

  • BUBBLES IN AN HE WASHER

    – If you’re using a High Efficiency (HE) washer, but inadvertently used the wrong detergent (regular), you may have soap bubbles that are trying to escape from the washer. Turn off the washer and proceed to a rinse and spin, which may need to be repeated to clear out the high volume of suds. HE detergent is a low siding formula which is recommended for high efficiency washers.

2. Humidifiers & Home Moisture: Water Droplets on Windows, Mold

  • WATER DROPLETS

    – Water droplets or steamy interior windows are usually an indication of excessive moisture. This could simply be caused by a large pot boiling on the stove, but it could signal another problem. It can be caused by a humidifier which is over humidifying the room – not being properly sized for that area or is running on High, where Low would be sufficient. Either way, it’s giving off way too much moisture. You can easily correct that by turning it down or moving the humidifier to a larger area of the house.

  • MOLD

    – Mold in the high corners of a bathroom usually signals that you need a fan in that areas which exhaust the bath/shower steam to the exterior of the home. Mold can be difficult to remove and will often recur prompting another home repair.

NOTE: The above troubleshooting tips are of advisory nature only. If your appliance isn’t working properly and you are not comfortable attempting any of the following, you may contact your local home warranty company and they can surely refer you to a qualified service contractor. If you don’t have a home warranty, contact a local technician at the earliest to get your appliance fixed.

Performing these small tasks in your regular cleaning and maintenance routine will reduce operation costs and may even eliminate the need for professional repairs. When you take great care of your appliances and further safeguard them with a home appliance warranty, you’ll be able to extend the life of your home appliances and count on them to last for many years to come.




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

Home Protection Plans

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

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

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

This is how a home warranty works

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The bottom-line

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

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




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!




A bathroom is one of the most important places at any home. A place to relax, rejuvenate and unwind. A clean and well maintained bathroom is a sign of physical and mental well being of a family.

With time the structure and appliances grow old and no longer have the same appeal. Chipped walls, dull sanitary ware, old flooring, leaky taps, rusted pipes can put you off. An old and dirty bathroom can be a big embarrassment. Does this sound like your situation? Do you think twice before answering when your guests ask, can I use your washroom?

Then its time for you to consider renovating it. Thoughtful re-designing can make it spacious and provide more storage. Renovation also adds value to your home if you plan to sell.

Options are endless when it comes to remodeling bathrooms as there is a wide scope for improvement. The combination of plumbing, electrical wiring, and decorating schemes packed into the smallest residential spaces create unique demand for its renewal.

If it needs to be restructured then everything has to be discarded and built from scratch. But if the layout is fine and the waterproofing is sound, then it will not cost you a fortune. A dramatic difference can be made by simply changing the color scheme, re-tiling over the old floor, replacing cabinets and sanitary ware. There are even  resurfacing products that can put a new surface over old colored tiles or chipped and outdated bathtubs.

What to Consider Before Starting a Bathroom Renovation?

Before you rush to speak to a  renovation company and ask for quotes, it is very important to do your research. The variety of  renovation options can be overwhelming including the infinite choices of baths, showers, toilets, taps, shower heads, tiles, paint colors, mirrors, splash backs, etc. The more determined and clear with ideas you are in what you require from your renovation, the more likely you will be of getting the one that you always wanted.

The secret to your dream bathroom is detailed specifications. While tabulating what you require, consider this questions.

  • The size of the structure.
  • What type of baths, showers, basins, vanities would you like? Which price point is best for you (mid range, top of the line, etc)?
  • The  fixtures that you would like. What types of taps, shower heads, etc?
  • The tiles, glass, mirrors and painting that you would like.

Now you have a foolproof plan of what exactly you want. Wondering what next? It might come in handy to consult your friends and relatives who have got renovation done from potential and reputed contractors. Do your research and be sure that you opt for the army of people you would want to hire to transform it.

How Much Does it cost to renovate a bathroom?

Typically  it would cost between $9,000 and $25,000 depending on a number of factors such as:

  • The size of space
  • Specifications of the work that is required.
  • The building materials that are used.
  • The choice of fittings such as taps, shower heads, etc.

The next step is to choose the sanitary wares and fixtures. If your existing ones are in decent condition then you can make them look new.

All you need to do is wash and scrub with an abrasive cleanser, Lime-A-Way. Then sand on them. The final stage is to paint. Mix the epoxy and paint with a brush and roller. Brush in one direction to make it spread evenly.

If they are way too old and ready to be discarded then yes it’s time for some shopping, but before heading to the store flip through the magazines and browse home improvement websites and get a firm idea about the fixtures, shower curtains, and sanitary wares you would need, it will save you time and costs.

Here are the essentials that you may have to buy:-                                                                        Bathroom Renovation

Bathtub

These come in a variety of styles with built-in shelves for condiments. You should be able to get a decent one for under $200. Check for the desired size.

Shower Curtain

Shower curtains and hangers set the mood of the whole washroom and its gets better when coordinated with towels. If  the area is small you should go with a lighter color and you can choose to experiment with different  kinds of fabric. You can choose vinyl, polyester, cotton, or other decorative textiles. Remember that vinyl and plastic shower curtains can be spot-cleaned while fabric curtains may need to be taken down and washed.

Toilet

Compared with other fixtures, toilets are not that expensive, but low-flush toilets are not cheap. Choose the one which will complement other sanitary-ware. You can also try a toilet tank water saver. This is a mechanism that fits in the toilet tank and only lets enough water in the tank to do the job. And it’s adjustable.

sinkSinks/ Faucets

Sinks/ faucets add elegance to the place, so pay more attention while choosing. It can be counter top, wall mounted or wall hung, above counter vessel types, pedestal, cast iron, integrated, freestanding, or self-rimming, and more. The  sink that you choose will determine the type of faucet and handles that you can install in the sink, so keep that in mind to assure that your faucet purchase is compatible with your  sink purchase.

To save money buy a water saver shower head. This can save you over 50% of the water and hot water costs for the same duration of shower.

Plumbing

Do not change the location of plumbing when working on low budget. Plumbing modifications requires bringing out the pipes from wall. After placement, you will have to do wall repair work. If new tiles were not in your mind, they will have to be then. Consider renovation in tight budget and forget plumbing modification. That means showers, tubs, toilets, and sinks should remain in the same position.

Floor

Linoleum: In a small or medium-sized washroom, changing the floor can be as easy as rolling out a section of beautifully-designed linoleum over the present floor and gluing it. If the present flooring is linoleum you can get a neutralizing agent to scrub the floor and then apply the mastic. The new linoleum will go down easily. Then install molding to hold down the edges.

Tile: This is also cheap and can go over other flooring. For small spaces it can be a do-it-yourself job but a handyman can do it quickly and cheaply. Big tiles can also be used on the walls from the floor to the ceiling for a royal look. You can also choose to have stick on tiles which can be stuck on any surface and look magnificent, moreover you can do it yourself.

Lighting

Usually the lighting is overhead and/or framing the mirror. This might take a couple of hundred bucks for an electrician but installing sconces on each side of the mirror will really give it a makeover.

Painting

It is the cheapest remodeling technique and usually one gallon of finish will do the job. Blue, Sea green, orange based on your preference and the advice of the contractor, you can choose the colors.

Mirrors

One beautifully framed mirror over a sink is more attractive than many surfaces covered with mirrors. These will enhance the looks of your washroom.

 after renovation

Before and after renovation

Wooden or bamboo accessories seem to have replaced the old fashioned steel racks. You should first look at the type of wood the racks are made of. Pine or oak can be strong, but be careful; they may form fungus when left wet.

Take advantage of space between wall studs by recessing a tall storage cabinet into the wall to maximize vertical storage while saving floor space. The cabinet should have an interior depth of at least three inches and a door flush with the wall.

When your it is completely renovated you can bring in one or two indoor plants like Boston fern, peace lily etc, which helps in cleaning the air. When your renovation is completely done then yes it’s time for indulgence. Enjoy your new bathroom.




The dream of possessing a home has become increasingly non-achievable for many Americans, and the condition is not possible to get better soon, as the fall of the housing market and the downturn continue to take their toll. That is the worrying conclusion to be drawn from the U.S. Census Bureau’s lately released report which is an overview of the national home market at the end of the last decade.

Homeowners in the United States also tend to have higher incomes and the households staying in their own home were more likely to be families than were their tenant counterparts. The name “home ownership rate” can be deceptive. As defined by the US Census Bureau, it is the percentage of homes that are occupied by the owner. It is not the percentage of adults that have possession of their own home. The second percentage will be importantly lower than the home ownership rate as many households that are owner occupied contain adult relatives (most frequently young adults, descendants of the owner) who do not possess their own home, and because single bedroom multi-bedroom rental units can have more than 1 adult, all of whom do not possess a home.

According to Consumer Insights 2012, here is what consumers are thinking today about home ownership:

Reasons for Homeownership


In the U.S. the homeownership rate is shaped through Housing Vacancy Survey by the US Census Bureau. It is formed by dividing the owner occupied units by the total number of engaged units. This is a significant point to comprehend changes in the homeownership time over time. The bust of the housing bubble resulted in many houses becoming foreclosed. However, the decrease the in the homeownership rate from 3Q2007 to 4Q2007 mainly a result of an increase in the renter’s populace and less because of a decrease in the homeowner population.

The impact of the bursting of the U.S housing bubble is still being felt across the country. In the first quarter of 2012, the homeownership rate fell to a 15-year low as per the Census Bureau. The 65.4% rate in the 1st quarter of 2012 is down from the 66% rate in the 4th quarter of 2011 and from the rate of 66.4% in the first quarter of 2011. Prior to the housing bubble burst, the rate of homeownership in the U.S. had been as high as 69.2% in the 4th quarter of 2004.

U.S Homeownership Rate

Economists say the rate could trip further. While low mortgage-interest rates and declining home prices have made homes more reasonable than at any time in the past decade, mortgage-lending standards stay tight. Besides, more Americans may feel less confident about property ownership after the sharp price declines of the past 6 years.

According to New York-based Reis Inc. (Reis) the vacancy rate fell to 4.9%in the first quarter, an 11-year low. The Census Bureau said that the vacancy rate for rental homes was 8.8% in the first quarter when compared with a 9.7% a year earlier.

Home Vacancies

Of the expected 132.6 million U.S. homes, 18.5 million, or 13.9%, were available in the first quarter a year before, about 19 million homes were empty, as per a report. That comprises homes for rent or sale or held off the market, and vacation properties used seasonally.

According to Stephen East, an analyst with International Strategy & Investment Group LLC, the dropped rates of both homeowner and rental vacancy during the 1st quarter bodes well for housing as shrinking inventory will enhance rents and urge demand for new homes.

New Rental Households

Almost 6 million borrowers will lose their properties in the next five years because of inability to pay, creating 4 million new rental households.

The homeownership rate fell 3 percentage points from a year earlier to 61.4% in the 1st quarter for people aged 35 to 44, the highest drop of any age group. The Northeast has the largest regional decline, with the ownership rate falling 1.4% points to 62.5%. The West has the lowest ownership rate at 55.9%, down 1% point from a year before.

Ownership Society

In 2004, when President George W. Bush, running for re-election, called for expanding home – loan availability to create an “ownership society”, the U.S homeownership rate rose to a record. The present rate of 65.4% matches the average since 1965, when the Census Bureau began reporting the figures, according to data collected by Bloomberg.

Home prices fell 3.5% in February from a year earlier and are 35% below their July 2006 peak, as per the S&P/Case-Shiller index of 20 U.S. cities. The average rate for a 30 year fixed loan was 3.88% and reached 3.87% in February, the lowest level in at least four decades.

Homeownership Rates By State

Following are the home ownership rates of various states in U.S.

 

State  First Quarter 2012
Alabama 71.6
Alaska 66.1
Arizona 65.9
Arkansas 66.2
California 54.4
Colorado 64.5
Connecticut 67.2
Delaware 74.1
District of Columbia 45.7
Florida 67.8
Georgia 64.5
Hawaii 56.6
Idaho 74.9
Illinois 67.0
Indiana 71.0
Iowa 69.8
Kansas 63.6
Kentucky 68.6
Louisiana 68.3
Maine 72.9
Maryland 69.3
Massachusetts 66.2
Michigan 74.6
Minnesota 70.4
Mississippi 75.1
Missouri 71.0
Montana 67.6
Nebraska 69.0
Nevada 58.2
New Hampshire 73.3
New Jersey 64.4
New Mexico 68.0
New York 52.4
North Carolina 66.4
North Dakota 65.6
Ohio 68.4
Oklahoma 69.8
Oregon 66.3
Pennsylvania 70.3
Rhode Island 61.4
South Carolina 71.4
South Dakota 69.9
Tennessee 66.7
Texas 65.6
Utah 70.7
Vermont 74.4
Virginia 66.6
Washington 63.5
West Virginia 77.7
Wisconsin 68.3
Wyoming 69.2

 

 





A home is a dream that takes a lifetime to realize; and so does the investment. After putting in all of your hard-earned money in buying a place that’s a representation of your dream home, there is nothing that makes you happier as you wish to live a fairy-tale, thereafter. Buying a home is everyone’s dream but keeping a check on maintenance cost can be challenging. After investing a fortune into your new house and all the modern amenities, it can be difficult to pay for the regular maintenance cost which appears to be a part of routine expenses.

But with regular breakdowns haunting you even after purchasing the best-quality appliances available in the market, it can be challenging to pay for repair cost; especially when it sums up to be a bigger sum. In such a situation, you need to figure out ways to minimize these unavoidable expenses, without compromising on the living quality.

Apart from opting for quality appliances to avoid regular breakdowns, there are several other measures that can be followed to minimize home maintenance costs:

1. Home Warranty Plans

Top 10 Home Warranty Companies

Maintenance costs and efforts can be controlled considerably if a home-warranty plan is insured. Despite a weak image in the market, if a suitable home warranty plan is opted for, from a trusted company, it can help bring costs down by a huge margin.

It is also known that there are several types of home warranty plans available and can be chosen from depending upon your requirement and budget. If you have just moved into a new place, you can opt for a cheaper plan and if your appliances are comparatively old, you can opt for a plan that provides better coverage.

Another thing to be ensured before choosing a home warranty plan is to be sure of the terms & conditions, and the appliances covered under the same. Some plan also offer replacement of equipment and the same can opt for if need be.

2. Regular Cleaning

regular-cleaning-habits

Staying in a clean environment increases your age, productivity and makes you feel happy. Similarly, keeping your appliances clean, and making sure that they are functional on a regular basis is helpful in avoiding any major breakdown. It is suggested to make these cleaning procedures a part of your routine, to increase the life of your home appliances.

The dirt can settle into these appliances and block the pipes, thus resulting in malfunctioning. Also, excessive dirt can result in a breakdown. Thus, it is advisable to keep your home and appliances clean and cut down on maintenance cost effectively.

3. Don’t Wait For A Bigger Breakdown 

Washing-machine

There are times when we are too tired or busy to fix a minor fault. But avoid using faulty equipment and get them repaired as soon as a problem occurs. This will not only prevent any bigger breakdown but also save you a lot of money by minimizing the need to replace the equipment.

It is also suggested that one should get the equipment checked by a professional on a routine basis to determine any fault present. This may look like a lot of effort but can save you from a bigger expenditure.

4. Don’t Compromise On Quality

Quality-check

We all have been in a situation when we try to save money by compromising on quality. This can land us in a worse situation! Buying user-trusted products can save us from a lot of future time and money investment. However, buying cheap quality products to save some money while setting up your new home should be avoided. This may demand a major investment in future in terms of repairing, or even replacement.

5. Over-using Of Appliances

over-using

Replacement or repair facilities can be utilized only if the equipment is being used as per the given instructions. Therefore, the equipment should not be over-used and the given instructions should be followed. This way the appliances will be functional for a longer period of time and you will save on maintenance costs. This does not require much effort but results in wonderful benefits.

Thus, you can save on maintenance costs through multiple ways just by being a little vigilant and also by using our free tool which calculates the home maintenance costs based on several factors like age of your home, the age of the appliances & so on. Also, schemes like home warranty plans can be availed to further reduce the maintenance costs by paying a smaller annual sum rather than a hefty one by intelligently buying home warranty plans by going through our resources. Also, do get your equipment checked periodically and you can choose from different home warranty plans as per your requirement. Another important thing to be remembered is that maintenance is an integral and crucial expenditure element that cannot be eliminated. So, follow these tips and maximize your savings!




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

Home Warranty Claims

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

Common Causes of Home Warranty Claims Denial

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

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

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

How to Dispute Home Warranty Claim Denials

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

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

 




Review filed under: HSA Home Warranty
Author: Paul Dalton

Call me a homeowner with realistic expectations. It seems that some others expect 1 hr service; but for the price we pay that is unrealistic, that speed of service would come with a steep price. Heat and cold can be uncomfortable; but they are not considered “emergency” items until they become life-threatening.

It is Saturday and I just called in a claim on my downstairs heating unit, which apparently just stopped working. The customer service agent, Sarah was polite, took my claim provided me the claim#, the name of the preferred provider and a phone number to contact them if I have not received a call by 10 am on Monday. (To me, that is next day service and I can live with that)

As a policy holder for 3 years, I can recall 4 claims (3 of which were honored without problem and 1 which we disagreed upon; but the unit is functioning).

I have never had a problem with HSA customer service (other than prolonged wait time). Each agent has been polite and tried to be helpful (they didn’t always have the answer I wanted but they tried to help).

It appears some people confuse HSA service with that of the sub-contractors that showed up to provide service. For the most part the contractors HSA sent to my house were polite and knowledgeable; with one exception (after my complaint and likely others, that contractor is no longer part of the HSA network) Yes HSA tries to find the lowest cost providers to make their business model work and those tend to be one or two man businesses; but that doesn’t mean they can’t be knowledgable. The contractors that have been to my residence diagnose the problem then convince the HSA rep that the service is covered because as one guy put it; “I make more money when I have work to do and unless they approve the claim, I can’t do much work.”

Without this policy, I never would have been able to replace the compressor on my HVAC unit for $75 (+50 to the contractor for a second man to help with carrying/installation/disposal). Yes, it is a 10 seer unit, so it is not the latest and greatest, and yes it is a lower tier brand name so it may not last as long as top-tier unit; but I have AC that works just fine for a severely discounted price.




Can a Contractor benefit from the Home Warranty Companies? There may be universal consensus on the subject which is why this article is dedicated to show how work can be extracted and also examine the full scope of benefits a Contractor can draw from a Home Warranty Company.

Contractor looking for job

Why Work With A Home Warranty Company?

The better the reviews for a Home Warranty Company (New York, Virginia, Texas, California, etc.), the better your chances of earning and saving more at the same time. What makes it so attractive is the almost nullification of advertising costs for the contractor. All companies that work along with Contractors offer free referrals to Contractors, to all their home warranty customers.

In order to make the most of the significant market that exists, it is never enough to know the technical know-hows of how to repair electronic appliances but you should also be ready to expend a part of your revenue into marketing your brand.

Another reason it is beneficial to work with a Home Warranty company would be because it guarantees continuous work, and you are less prone to be out of work on a not-so-profitable season. With increasing work calls from the Home Warranty Company, the more chances you have at expanding your brand, either by hiring new technicians or buying new work-enhancing technology. With this sort of reliability, you could be fixing an AC and heater at any time of the year.

This can also prove beneficial to the Home Warranty company too as the contractors provide good reviews of the companies they are working with, increasing their chances of contacting them again or even spread goodwill by word of mouth.

When you decide to take on this relationship with a Home Warranty Company, it is also important for a Contractor to remember that he/she must be efficient in receiving calls from customers, who are directed from the Home Warranty company itself. Customer service is the lifeline on which the success of Contractor business can rely on, especially in the case where you are working with a Home Warranty Company where all your customers are directed from the contact number you provide the company.

Joining bigger Home Warranty Companies can give you a form of exclusivity if one outperforms all the contractors a company has hired. This will allow you to appear at the top of their list of contractors, especially if they provide reviews’ section.

How To Work With A Home Warranty Company?

Almost all leading Home Warranty Companies offer online applications which you can fill up in your leisure time and submit with all the relevant information typed in.

Some of these leading Home Warranty Companies include,

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

The customer reviews’ section within our own website can also be found for some of the top rated Home Warranty Companies like American Home Shield, The Home Service Club, Secure Home Warranty, America’s Preferred Home Warranty-APHW, Select Home Warranty and First American Home Warranty (also picked as 2017’s Editor’s Choice, a brand new category introduced this year).

However, all contractors are requested to review the home warranty companies they’ve worked with on an exclusively dedicated space called the Vendor’s Area. Here, one can dish out all the good and bad experiences one’s had by taking up the jobs given by the home warranty companies.


Some of the benefits to the contractor by working with a Home Warranty Company like above, in addition to the ones already mentioned, would be:

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

Renowned Home Warranty Companies also help their contractors in times of need, which include an experienced support team and a high limit on calls. Companies like Home Warranty of America also helps Contractors claim costs.

What To Remember Before Becoming A Service Contractor?

Before filling up your application form to become a Service Contractor, it is a necessary step to license your contractorship. Every Home Warranty Company expects the Service Contractor they are about to work with are certified contractors with a license and hence you are required to fill up your license ID in the application form.

Also you are required to fill in your Auto Insurance Policy Number, and your General Liability Insurance Policy Number (optional). Insurance Policies are in your own interest, hence even if some of them are optional we recommend you create one if absent.

Diversifying your skills can also be very beneficial before applying for a Contractorship with a Home Warranty Company. As you fill up your application, you are asked of your specialization and hence learning new skills can help you strike off more blanks, increasing your popularity among the reviews and consequently help increase your revenue.

Consistent work can be guaranteed when you are able to juggle with different kinds of repairs be it plumbing, garbage disposal, weed/lawn mowing, ceiling fans, gas fireplace or septic system. These numbers can go up to a hundred so a little bit of extra skill can only put you so much ahead of the rest of the contractors.

If you are looking to expand your presence in contractorship, applying to work with a Home Warranty Company is the best as it can get. You can save and earn more at the same time, a chance usually deprived for those working outside of these companies. There are many ways you can utilize such an opportunity, more so as there are numerous Home Warranty Companies and your chances at getting in at any one of them aren’t nearly dim. Go ahead and fill your applications now!

Our portal also lets you access some of the most sophisticated lists of best home warranty companies, ranked on a various different criterion. This is, in addition to the Complaint Resolution Program (CRP) and Home Maintenance Calculator. Be sure to check them out!

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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.




Is the increasing price of home warranty and insurance your concern?

You may be wondering why appliance warranty costs are always on the rise. We know that it is a huge financial strain to keep your expenses within your budget. It therefore comes as no big surprise that the yearly increase in your annual premium or just the cost of procuring a home service contract makes you want to scream.

Naturally, you begin to wonder if it is a good idea to drop home warranty. My dear friend, that may not be a very wise move. With the prices of everything around you skyrocketing, what makes you think that the prices for appliance repairs would drop? Labor charges, material charges and every other charge on the surface of Earth has gone up.

This means that if your appliances stop working, you will be paying quite a huge sum of money to get it repaired. And in another two years, the price may vary significantly. Now, if you had an appliance warranty, you wouldn’t have to pay so much. We suggest that you keep your warranty.

Now we can’t alter the prices for you, that would be difficult (read impossible). But we can explain why the prices have gone up over the years. Before that, let’s tell you what an appliance warranty does.

How A Home Warranty Works

Home service contracts are usually bought for a specific period of time during which expenses incurred for repairing your household devices will be covered. As long as the damage occurs for a covered device in the designated time frame, your only expense will be a nominal service call fee while the expenses for the repairs will be paid by the warranty company.

Why Prices Rise

So, with prices of materials and labor rising each year, is it not natural that the annual premium rises along with it? Yet another significant reason for annual price hike goes like this. As each year passes, your house becomes older and so do the appliances in it. Which means that the chances of them breaking down are also increasing.  So you see, the risk of malfunctions and system damages increase with each passing year. Hence to keep up with things, the warranty companies often hike the rates by a certain percentage. Also, if you make a claim, the annual premium may hike by a small margin in the next year.

We don’t have precise numbers from the appliance warranty industry, but we can get you a glimpse into the hikes in the homeowner’s insurance industry. The figures are often comparable.

Let’s take a look at the places where there is highest hike after a claim is made

Rising Costs of Home Warranty

Now let’s take a look at the places that have lowest hike following a claim.

state with lowest premium

Source – insurancequotes.com

The reasons for these differences are many. The labor and material costs vary from one region to another and contribute to the premium.  The state regulatory requirements can also add to increase in costs.

The average increase in annual premium varies from company to company and therefore you can get price quotes for home warranty companies and compare. Most companies determine the annual premiums based on your location and the age of your house. Sometimes it is also dependent on the number of service requests they take each year.

How to keep your premium low?

  • Make fewer claims. For smaller claims, get the repair done out of your pocket.
  • Get your appliances inspected regularly; especially the heating and cooling appliances should be professionally inspected once every year. This will improve the life expectancy and reduce repair needs. Remember, issues caused due to lack of maintenance are not covered.
  • Do comparison shopping if the premium is excessively high. But make sure you stay with a reliable home warranty company

Numbers from the Industry

The appliance warranty providers industry has exhibited a decent growth over the last few years. The industry revenue is expected to increase at annual rate of 0.4% to $1.8 billion. Their profit stands at $197.4 million with wages amounting up to $176.1million. Over the years, a few providers were acquired or merged by/with their peers.

In the next five years, the industry is expected to show an annual growth rate of 1.8% to become a $2.0 billion industry. It is believed that the recovery of the housing market, home sales and homeownership rates will increase. This in turn may lead to an increased demand for appliance warranty. Also, as the economy improves, incomes and consumer confidences are expected to rise leading to an increased spending on home appliances and other fixtures.

The final word

We certainly hope that you found this article helpful!  We have presented a true description of the industry and its working in the most honest way possible.

Yet we have to say that inspite of all the costs, a home service contract is indeed a very wise purchase if any of the following are true. You can also read our Guide to Home Warranty buyers for further assistance.

As a quick advice, if any of the following are true, it is recommended that you purchase appliance warranty.

  • Your house is over 4 years old.
  • You don’t have time for DIY repairs.
  • You don’t wish to pay up for frequent and expensive repairs.
  • You don’t have a trusted contractor.

Keep in mind that the policy booklet and the contract documents are vital documents. They have to be studied and preserved very carefully to avoid future conflicts and annoyances.




Premier global provider of warranty solutions and benefits, the Warranty Group Inc,  has announced that they will be extending their agreement with the American Residential Warranty. The agreement, which will undergo a multi-year extension, is said to be one that provides warranty programs to homeowners throughout the nation. The announcement was made on the 19th of February, 2014.

American Residential Warranty

The contract extension is said to include certain changes as well. The agreement will now include addition of appliance coverage in the states of California, Nevada and Virginia. This will increase the footprint of the American Residential Warranty to a total of 50 states in the USA. The renewed contract will also have expanded coverage which includes external water and sewer lines and well pumps.

The senior Vice President at Warranty Group,  Justin Thomas  expressed his pleasure in continuing the partnership with American Residential Warranty. Both companies have a long- standing heritage of providing financial protection to consumers on major household appliances and systems. Mr. Thomas has also stated that through this contract, his company will support  the American Residential Warranty in continuing their services throughout the nation.

Richard Kaufman, the chief executive officer at American Residential Warranty, stated that their direct-consumer-marketing methods have helped in tremendous growth and expansion. He also stated that through their continued relationship with the American Residential Warranty, they have been able to develop and offer a comprehensive range of home warranty products, which has been an integral part of their success.

HomeWarrantyReviews.com hosts consumers reviews for both companies – The Warranty Group, Inc and American Residential Warranty.

About The Warranty Group, Inc

The Warranty Group, Inc, has been in the industry for over 50 years and has become a global provider of warranty products. The company operates in over 30 countries and currently has around 1900 employees working with them. The company also provides underwriting, claims administration and marketing expertise to some of the leaders in manufacturing, distribution and retailing of consumer goods which includes automobiles, homes and appliances among various others. The Virginia Surety Company and London General Insurance are wholly owned by The Warranty Group, Inc. For details visit www.thewarrantygroup.com.

About The American Residential Warranty

 American Residential Warranty is one of the leading companies in the home warranty industry. They offer customizable home warranty solutions to homeowners across the USA. They carry out direct-to-consumer marketing and effectively use the various electronic, social and print media to run national multimedia campaigns. For more information visit www.americanresidentialwarranty.com.




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.




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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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




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.

 




Here’s a funny pictorial story that gives a peek into how does a Home Warranty work. Mr.Fox here is our friend who purchased a home service contract. His beloved washing machine crashed one day while the contract was still valid.

How Does a Home Warranty Work

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Now, back to the story.

Mr. Fox had an appliance warranty, so he did not have to

  • Look for a technician
  • Pay for repairs
  • Carry the device to a service center
  • Do the repairs himself

Mr. Fox simply called the home warranty company who in turn called up a service contractor with whom they maintain business ties. The warranty company sent a technician to Mr. Fox’s home to take a look at the appliance. The tech fixed the issue right there as it was a minor problem. You see, if the problem was big and if parts needed to be replaced, the tech would have had to wait for the approval of the warranty company before doing it.

Once the problem was fixed, the tech collected the service call fee and departed his way. Mr. Fox lived happily ever after resting assured that if his appliances crashed, he would always have his home warranty company to rely on!

The end




Hagerstown, Maryland is one of the prime cities in Western Maryland. The Hagerstown-Martinsburg urban area is home to almost 270,000 residents, while the Hagerstown suburban area has over 40,000 people and about 30,000 jobs. Currently, there are approximately 500 homes for sale in Hagerstown at a median listing pricing of nearly $180,000.

Washington-Best-Realtors & properties for sale

The top-rated realtors in Hagerstown are well aware of properties, neighborhoods, and newest for sale listings in the city. The experts can provide you with updated information about home buying and selling trends in Hagerstown. Below is the list of top 5 real estate professionals based on their recent activity, years of experience, and total sales volumes in dollars.

Tina Long

Best-Realtor-in-Washington-DC

Tina is a Realtor with Exit Preferred Realty and licensed in Pennsylvania and Maryland. With an experience of more than three decades, she specializes in short-sale, consulting, and buyer’s agent. She is a proud Member of Pen Mar Regional Association of Realtors, Member of Metropolitan Regional Information System, Member of Realtors Association of York and Adams County, and Member of National Association of Realtors. Tina is an accredited short sales and foreclosure resource (SFR) as she knows how to help sellers maneuver the intricacies of short sales as well as help buyers pursue short sale and foreclosure opportunities. Tina understands that buying or selling a home is one of the most significant things you do in life and she assists in making the experience as smooth and successful as possible. Her extensive experience and expertise in the Hagerstown, Chambersburg, Fayetteville, Greencastle, Mercersburg, and Waynesboro real estate market benefit her customers in their buying and selling process.

If you want to buy a home, Tina and her team can help you find the home of your dreams by patiently listening to your needs. She works untiringly to find the right home so that no one has to compromise when it comes to such a huge purchase and decision! Besides, her real estate knowledge ensures that you get the best price possible for your property. Her strategic marketing program makes sure the right people view your home. Whether you are seeking Homes for Sale or Mortgage information, Tina and team are always available for service by phone, email, or appointments. Experienced in all facets of real estate, Tina enjoys spending time with her children and grandchildren, gardening, riding horses, and taking a hike.

“So if you or someone you know is looking to Buy or Sell a home give me a call. Thinking Real Estate! Think Tina Long!”

Joan McLernon

Top-rated-realtor

Joan possesses more than 33 years of experience in the real estate industry spanning across Residential and Commercial Development in the Washington D.C. Cosmopolitan Area, Property Management, and Certified Buyer and Seller Representation in the Western Maryland and South Central Pennsylvania neighborhoods. A consistent multi-million producer, she can assist first-time buyers and people scaling up or down with their home size or moving to a new area. Joan is skilled in all facets of real estate including but not limited to equestrian or farm properties, urban, suburban or rural homes, historic properties, primary or second homes, and Country Properties. Currently a part of the management team at Coldwell Banker Innovations, she operates mainly in Hagerstown, Boonsboro, Braddock Heights, Clear Spring, Funkstown, Sharpsburg, Chambersburg, Mercersburg, Greencastle, Waynesboro, Knoxville, Fairplay, Saint James and more. Joan believes that experience and understanding are priceless when purchasing or selling a home and hence she provides the right guidance to attain your real estate goal.

An alumna of the University of Buffalo, Joan is constantly acknowledged as one the area’s leading real estate professionals. She has served as President of PenMar Regional Association of Realtors providing guidance for the local membership to boost their abilities and opportunities to prosper through cooperation, participation, promotion of professional integrity and moral standards, and providing educational opportunities to further their careers. She is also engaged in teaching the Introduction to Real Estate licensing course at Hagerstown Community College. Joan has steadily maintained a multi-million dollar award winning sales position in the top 10% each year. She has won the following awards:

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

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

Mike Baldwin

Top-class-realtor-for-sale

Mike has spent more than two decades working in the real estate industry serving the needs of both the residential and commercial market. He is a resident of the Frederick and Washington County neighborhood and displays an amazing sense of leadership and integrity in everything he does. Mike received his Bachelor of Science from the University of Maryland University College and operates mainly in areas such as Hagerstown, Adamstown, Saint James, Brunswick, Boonsboro, Middletown, Smithsburg, Keedysville, Ijamsville, Williamsport, Maugansville, New Market, Point Of Rocks, Thurmont, Cascade, Cavetown and more. After spending his initial 17 years with Mackintosh Realtors, a local independent firm in Maryland, Mike established Atlantic Real Estate in January 2013 and since then is building a business model that incorporates the customary services expected from a real estate brokerage firm while combining state-of-the-art technology and advanced ideas. Atlantic Real Estate manages all aspects of real estate including property management, buyer & seller representation, real estate investor strategies & planning, professional marketing & sales, consulting & advisory services, land development, and new home sales & marketing. He established Atlantic Home Construction in 2015 after renovating & remodeling investment properties for many years. The company builds custom new homes and remodels existing homes for resale.

In 2016, Mike established Atlantic Companies, recognizing the void between the real estate and building industries. Atlantic Companies is comprised of a real estate division (Atlantic Real Estate) and a construction division (Atlantic Home Construction) along with other ventures. This allows both divisions to work together providing superior quality and long-term value, forward-thinking ideas, and honest customer care.

Mike’s commitment to work responsibilities sets him apart from the rest and has helped him achieve the following:

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

In addition, Mike has earned the following:

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

Karen Horejs

Real-Estate=Proffesional-in-Washington-DC

A licensed agent with Keller Williams Premier Realty, Karen serves neighborhoods such as Hagerstown, Clear Spring, Chambersburg, Fort Loudon, McConnellsburg, Mercersburg, Orrstown, Williamsport, Boonsboro, Shippensburg, Waynesboro and more. Whether working with a first-time buyer or a seasoned homeowner, she believes in striving for excellence. Her specialties include short-sale, investors, senior real estate consumers, residential, distressed homeowners, luxury homes, listing agent, and relocation. After graduating from Mercyhurst College, Karen spent 25 years as a registered nurse in Erie, PA. When her husband relocated to the Cumberland Valley around 17 years ago, her 5 children were very young. Her passion for bringing the best to a community led her to get involved with the local Boy Scouts of America. She held numerous leadership positions such as Cubmaster and leading district training events. Later she also became a board member of the Mason-Dixon Council as Vice President of Cub Scout Program. Karen is a recipient of the Silver Beaver Award which is the highest Council award and her 4 sons have earned their Eagle Scout award. Her daughter is the pharmacist at the local Greencastle CVS and one of her sons is a pilot for the United States Coast Guard.

Karen’s expert skills along with hard working attitude and interest in marketing led her to pursue a career in real estate in 2004. In her very first year of service, she was awarded PenMar’s Rookie of the Year. Since then, she has continued to be a top volume producer. “Helping people with one of the biggest decisions of their life is such an honor. Being their advocate and making their move as easy as possible are my goals. People look to us for guidance with life changes and this is a responsibility that we cannot take lightly. I BELIEVE that Realtors who base their practice on the latest guidelines and marketing principles are “doing their best” for their clients and their client outcomes are then optimized.” Karen helps the first-time buyers by making them understand the assets and liabilities of a property. She believes that preparing the home for selling and staging the house are critical when buyers are so selective. Premium virtual tours are her specialty.

Finding Keller Williams, the second largest Real Estate Company in the US has been impeccable for Karen’s wish to be the best. Working at Keller Williams has offered her the following:

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

Karen has earned the following designations and certifications:

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

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

Kari Shank

Realtors-REMAX-in-Washington-DC

Kari Shank is a full-time realtor with RE/MAX Achievers and licensed in Maryland, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania. She is keen in making your real estate transactions as seamless as possible. She is a permanent resident of Washington County, MD and also has great exposure to the Washington and Baltimore areas. Kari loves working with both buyers and sellers and always takes a tailored approach to the business. Besides, she works as a buyer’s agent emailing you with new listings, setting up custom home searches, negotiating deals, and setting up custom home searches on your behalf! She has a proven track record selling real estate and is available to you seven days a week to answer any of your concerns. Kari has a long list of clientele as she carefully listens to understand the goals and guides them through the complete process of selling their property from listing to sale.

With nearly 11 years of distinguished service, Kari has won the following awards:

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

Kari is mainly active in neighborhoods such as Hagerstown, Middletown, Smithsburg, New Market, Falling Waters, Boonsboro, Adamstown, Chambersburg, Shepherdstown, Brunswick, Clear Spring, Fairplay, Frederick, Keedysville, Maugansville, Myersville, Sharpsburg, Williamsport, Greencastle, Waynesboro, and Martinsburg. Her skills include sellers, buyers, first-time buyers, relocation, condos/townhomes, short sales, foreclosures, investment properties, and new construction. She is very active in the real estate community serving on the PenMar REALTOR® Association’s YPN Group and as a presenter at the Hagerstown Home Store. As a certified distressed property expert (CDPE), Kari is proficient in effective short sale negotiations. “If you must sell and the current value of your home is no longer enough to satisfy your mortgage a short sale can be a wonderful opportunity to avoid foreclosure. I have worked on many of these sales and would be glad to help you consider your options.” An alumna of University of Maryland College Park, Kari is interested in historic properties, music, photography, traveling, animal rights, and vegetarianism.

“Just tell me what you are looking for and I will search all of my sources and provide you with a convenient report of all the properties that you may be interested in complete with photographs of the properties and detailed neighborhood information.” Kari guarantees to advertise through multiple sources, competitive commission rates, and guides you through your next move! Call her today for more information on the current market.

For Sale : Take Away

It is not surprising that homeowners often wonder whether home warranty is more cost-effective than the actual repair expenses. Top home warranty review, rating, and comparison website, HomeWarrantyReviews.com has introduced Home Maintenance Calculator to better make an informed decision in purchasing a home warranty. There is also a widget code for all the realtors out there to use it on their websites and blog posts. This is a nice to have feature and sends out the right signal for all of the potential customers coming your way! (<iframe src=”https://www.homewarrantyreviews.com/home-maintenance-widget”></iframe>)




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.




If you are a homeowner in Ohio, this is an article that can’t miss! Your home is probably the biggest investment in your life and you know it takes time and money to keep it running well. We’re sure that you would’ve considered a home warranty plan to save yourself hundreds of dollars in repairs and replacements. But are you sure you know about the best companies in your locality? This is why you need to know about the best home warranty companies in Ohio.

Home Warranty Companies In Ohio

Best Appliance Warranties In Ohio

 

Being the 10th most densely populated state in the country, Ohio does have numerous players in the home warranty sector. Yet, some companies have managed to outshine others with exceptional services and great products. You may already be knowing that our website ranks companies based on feedback collected from actual customers. We have also used these reviews to come up with the best home warranty companies in the country. So, based on said reviews, here are the companies that top the list of best appliance warranty providers in Ohio-

  1. American Home Shield
  2. The Home Service Club
  3. Select Home Warranty
  4. HSA Home Warranty
  5. Choice Home Warranty

We’d like to provide you some more details about the companies in this list. HomeWarrantyReviews.com has a detailed page for every company listed with us and we also have a statewise list of companies. So if you have friends and family in other states, do tell them to pay us a visit for getting their home warranty needs to be addressed.

1. American Home Shield (AHS)

American Home Shield (AHS) is a company that laid the foundation of the home warranty industry, Since its inception in 1971, American Home Shield has always been a popular choice among American homeowners. AHS has a nationwide footprint with even some parts of Canada being included in their coverage.

Being one of the first companies to sell warranty products, their experience is close to unmatched. All AHS home warranty plans are designed to cover major appliances and systems at reasonable prices. A typical AHS warranty plan would cost somewhere between $249 – $500+ and the deductible per service visit would cost somewhere between $75 – $125. The company maintains a massive contractor network of over 11,000 skilled and licensed technicians who are selected after a careful screening process. AHS, like most of the top players, maintains around the clock customer service facility and also runs an online claims submission program. Backed by strong reviews, this is one company that totally deserves to be on top of this list.

2. The Home Service Club

Home Service Club or HSC, is a company who considers themselves innovators in the field of home warranty. HSC’s primary focus has always been on providing the best possible service to their customers. The company’s coverage spans 48 states across the country. HSC believes that the frequent surveys and customer feedback programs they conduct are the reason why they are able to stay on top of their game.

HSC’s plans do not mandate a home inspection, neither do they place a restriction on the age of the appliances. A standard plan from HSC will cost around $400 and the deductible per service visit is charged between $65 – $125.

3. Select Home Warranty

Yet another company with huge popularity in Ohio is Select Home Warranty (SHW). Select has a vast national network of contractors and is also a company with a commendable tenure in the home warranty industry. Headquartered in New Jersey, this company covers anything from rental properties and condos to mobile homes.

For homeowners in Ohio, SHW provides three types of home warranty plans each varying in the level of coverage. On an average, SHW’s plans are priced between $299 – $599 and most plans have a service call fee of $60. This is yet another company that does not place a restriction on the age of appliances, neither do they mandate a home inspection.

4. HSA Home Warranty

HSA is a company with close to 30 years experience in the home warranty industry and they also have immensely positive reviews from their customers. Headquartered in Wisconsin, HSA believes that their success is attributed to the problem-solving capabilities and the commitment of their team.

Their primary product, the appliance warranty plan, comes in two variants for Ohio homeowners and they cost between $589 – $619 and their deductible cost ranges between $75 – $100. Customers are also given the option to extend coverage by adding items from a pre-selected list of add-ons.

5. Choice Home Warranty

Choice Home Warranty (CHW) is a company known for providing comprehensive warranty plans to their customers. The company claims that they can cater to the needs of homeowners, real estate agents, buyers and sellers.

CHW offers transferable home warranties to homeowners, buyers and sellers alike. Standard plans are priced between $370 – $450 and the average deductible charge is $60. CHW has a 24/7 customer service facility and also an online claims facility through which customers can manage and track the progress of their claims.

Before You Buy A Home Warranty

While we have indeed provided you with a list of some of the best companies, we recommend that you conduct ample amount of research before you zero in on a choice. Our website would be an excellent place to find out insights about home warranty companies across the country. We suggest that you go through user reviews and go through our statewise list of companies before you decide. We hope you found this useful and don’t hesitate to contact us in case you have a query. Cheers!