For the majority of people procuring or selling their home is an important undertaking. So what happens when a real estate closing goes skewed? How can you make sure that your interests are fully protected?
At the law offices, the attorneys offer experienced and knowledgeable legal services to clients involved in real estate disputes.
What all real estate professional must know in order to avoid leaving himself exposed or susceptible to unnecessary lawsuits?
When you imagine about the golden boys of real estate sales, do you call up images of pencil pushers filling out paperwork, documenting transactions, grunting through the trail? Or do you picture the pro with the gift for gab, the Wonder Kid of real estate property elocution; the kind who is to the point at the art of playing matchmaker between buyer and property?
This kind of pro who is off the charts and on the game doesn’t worry about documentation. Why? He’s too busy leaving prospective buyers in a state of shock, open mouthed, standing frozen at the cherry wood stained floors, eyes shining with the gape of remembrance of things past- as the Wonder Kid has brought him back to the very home he now stands in, as if – it would seem – it has been time – traveled straight from his childhood into the present and rebuilt for him alone.
“I’ll take it. Whatever the cost.”
Watch it. This hotshot is the poster child for being taken benefit of. Small details ignored could give you expensive outcomes. It is important to keep in mind that in a controversial society, no one is excused from liability, but there are safety measures that can be taken.
Before knowing the steps to protect your professional reputation, we can talk about the reasons why the trend toward litigation is growing rapidly, mainly in this industry.
Alternative Financing Options are great at making the dream of homeownership a reality for a lot of Americans, but they are increasing difficulty of transactions. With so many cooks in the kitchen expecting a payout, when deals fall flat it creates a Mecca for controversial opportunities.
Merging, Acquisition and Consolidating of real estate companies is causing chaos on data systems and the organization of information. This increases chances for important pieces of data to fall through the cracks and create gaps in the paper trail.
Increase Call for Further Documentation of all dealings and an overall record of the entire process is throwing more curve balls at real estate sale agents who may be hiring small armies to help them in capturing the thorough details. For instance, if a home warranty is recommended verbally by the seller, it’s better to get it in writing from the buyer if he turned it down. if not, realtors may be raising the cost for risking a home warranty lawsuit.
Realtors as Sitting Ducks– A lot of realtors wind up the natural scapegoat as blame usually defaults on them. For example, this takes place through property defects being disclosed after the sale is made – however unplanned – the agreement for lawsuit normally involves the realtor had been aware of the fault.
Recommending a home check is practical and it builds faith. Most new homeowners will not miss the logic in this age will have the same opinion. Those who decline should sign a waiver which documents their decision to refuse. In this way, you will be free from harm should it turn out that there is a household system or appliance in need of repair, in the future. Should the new owner become unruly and make false claims suggesting you had never recommended the inspection, you have it in writing and there is no case.
What else can you do to defend against the threat of legal pursuit? Begin with a property disclosure form and use a standard sales contract. Ensure your staff is detail-oriented and on top of their game with record-keeping. Wording in all documents must be as to the point. Ambiguous language presents more opportunity for debate. Like any other transaction involving the exchange of currency, it is not sensible to carry through transactions with family members or friends.
The final thing a realtor can do to prevent the possibility of legal pursuit is simple enough.
==>Click here to get the Quote For Home Warranty.
Summer 2016 is on track to break records for high temperatures. According to The Weather Channel, some U.S. states will see temperatures well beyond their normal summer levels. And with the brutally hot weather comes a strain on air conditioning systems with added repair costs if it fails. Unlike certain appliances in the home or even major systems, heating and cooling systems serve a uniquely important purpose during extreme high or low temperatures. So downtime longer than a few hours can turn a comfortable house into one that is unsafe to stay in, under the worst of weather circumstances of course.
Most of our readers on HomeWarrantyReviews.com are familiar with the benefits of home warranties and how it helps in reducing the repair costs. But even having a home service contract may not be enough protection in the event that temperatures run consistently higher than an air conditioning system can counteract. Excessive short-term demands on local HVAC repair companies can result in long wait times for customers desperate to get help restoring their A/C operation to normal. Supplies at the local level of parts and other materials essential to restoring operation of broken air conditioning systems can quickly run out, leaving customers without cooling in their homes for days at a time. And home warranty companies can find themselves running out of available contractors to send to their customers’ homes when claims for service are filed during these high demand time periods.
In this situation, preparing ahead of time is absolutely essential to a homeowner’s safety. Here are some key things readers will want to consider, going into what may be for them the hottest one they’ve ever experienced.
There is no failsafe trick to beating a rush on air conditioning repair services. Unless the reader has the luxury of being able to fix the A/C without assistance, there probably isn’t much that can be done to get ahead of other customers when demands exceed supplies in the local area. So waiting for the cooling system in the house to break down isn’t wise at all. Instead of finding out the hard way that the system isn’t up to the task of maintaining a safe, livable temperature in the home during extremely hot outdoor temperatures, it pays to have the system maintained at least twice each year, ensuring that part that looks like it’s reaching the end of its life is replaced preemptively. Home service contracts may not cover this type of preventive repair, but when it comes to safety, it never pays to nickel and dime household repair decisions.
Under regular demands, an HVAC system may not show that it’s not well maintained or optimally configured. But put that same system under heavy demands, from really hot weather that lasts days or weeks at a time, and suddenly the flaws become obvious. One aspect of optimal HVAC configuration that is easy to overlook without professional knowledge is the placement of the external parts of the cooling system.
The parts of the system that reside outside the home function best when kept clean and out of the way of climatic or other interferences. Long daily exposure to direct sunlight is not great for a cooling system that is already working overtime to keep the inside of the house cool. Knowing how much sun exposure the unit is receiving and compensating in some way for units that are overexposed to the added heat coming from a lack of proper shade from the sun can be an integral part of avoiding system breakdowns during periods of very high outdoor temperatures.
Also, it is important to avoid any object being too close to the outdoor unit of the cooling system. In particular, high grass, other landscaping, fences, foundations, and other obstructions can hinder air flow or block it entirely. Loose debris from these types of obstructions can clog the unit. It’s always best to keep the area around the unit clear.
Though sustained high outdoor temperatures may give homeowners no choice but to run the air conditioner non-stop, it’s still possible to do many things to reduce the workload on the system.
Depending on a reader’s age, chances are this sarcastic question is pretty familiar. But it lived on the tongues of many a mom and dad over the years for good reason, it hits the bullseye for the person paying the electric bill! Opening and closing doors, leaving garage doors open, opening curtains or blinds that might have helped keep the house cool if left closed, all of these are ways that making bad decisions can heat up the house. In a summer like the one the U.S. is now facing, it makes that much more sense to do anything and everything to lighten the workload on the air conditioning system. Check out the list below of ways to lessen the heating effects inside the house of outside high temperatures.
Filters for the air conditioning and heating system are typically not in view all the time. Things that are out of sight are easier to forget. So it pays to keep filter replacement on a calendar, where it’s routinely reminding a homeowner to put in a fresh filter. Anyone who has ever called for HVAC service, thinking the unit was broken, only to find out a clogged filter was all that was wrong knows that it’s cheaper to buy a bunch of filters and keep them on hand than to assume that filter replacement isn’t a big deal.
Clean filters help keep the air flowing into the interior part of the system freely and cleanly. Clogged filters clamp down on airflow, which can result in the interior part of the system freezing up and the house heating up, even as air is still blowing out of vents. One way to avoid forgetting about filter replacement is to sign up for a service like FilterEasy. With an auto-shipment subscription, homeowners don’t need to try to remember when it’s time to replace the filter or add the filter to a shopping list. And it’s far cheaper to keep the filter fresh and clean than to wind up with a repair bill.
Readers who know it’s been too long since the last maintenance visit should stop right here and get to the phone. Call a reputable HVAC service company before the chance passes and the busy season is in full swing. If the company offers any type of discount for customers who pay upfront for annual service visits then give those deals some serious consideration. Even a home service contract probably won’t cover every dollar of an air conditioning repair. So every dollar saved counts when the system needs expensive labor and parts to get it running again.
Regular maintenance visits typically check for signs of age or unusual wear and tear. And in some cases, this type of inspection can identify parts of the system that are near the breaking point. Whenever this happens, readers are encouraged to make the repairs immediately if funds are available. Though it’s always hard to know that playing it safe resulted in a real benefit for the homeowner, the old saying is true, it is better to be safe than sorry.
Readers who are qualified to give advice, either because of professional expertise or personal experiences are encouraged to share in the comments below! Don’t hold back. You never know when a moment of your time spent sharing comments with other readers might result in saved money, time, or suffering from a house that is miserably hot.
“Winter is coming” – Remember this famous dialog by the Starks from Game of Thrones? Well, it is true now. Winter is indeed approaching and that means homeowners have to prepare themselves for the chilly festive season.
While the idea of another Christmas is awesome, the idea of sub-zero temperatures and malfunctioning appliances is not. Fret not! There are some things that you can do to ensure that the chances of your appliances crashing are kept to a minimum. This article will provide you with a list of appliances that needs to be checked before winter sets in and also how to ensure that they don’t breakdown. Wondering why you need to check your appliances in advance? Well, like they say, a stitch in time, saves nine!
So here are some of the appliances that need a thorough check up before the temperature drops-
Let’s take a detailed look at how these appliances should be checked. Don’t worry, the steps are quite simple and only require a very basic examination on the appliances listed above.
This one is absolutely essential. If there is no heating in your home, you’ll probably get sick. Or worse, freeze. HVAC units are large appliances and they may require annual maintenance checks. If you have signed up for a warranty plan or similar arrangement that conducts frequent checks on your HVAC, now would be an ideal time. If you don’t have such an arrangement, worry not. Here’s what you need to do.
While you’re at it, you may want to read about common mistakes HVAC owners make.
Personal safety is always a primary concern. With all the heating devices going in full swing, having a fire, although uncommon, is still possible. Check your smoke detectors to ensure that they are in working order. If they fail, you could risk the lives of everyone in your home.
Here is what you need to do to check your smoke detector –
These are appliances that can get really hot if their vents are blocked, making them prime fire hazard material. Leaving them to function unattended during the cold winter season may not be a bright idea. Make sure somebody checks on them at frequent intervals.
The following steps can help you run a basic exam on your dryer-
While it is lovely to have a fireplace, there are somethings that you just cannot overlook while using them. To ensure that your fireplace is safe for use, do the following –
If you have a gas fireplace, look out for peeling wallpaper and eroding mortar. Ideally, get it inspected by a professional.
First time homeowners may need to do extensive research about making your home safe for winter. Apart from the appliance maintenance checklist we provided above, there are some general safety and wellness practices that you must follow. This would include things like keeping an emergency contact list ready, stocking up on food, check your car to see if it’s winter-safe and finally formulating a fire escape plan.
Also, do keep in mind that outdoor hose bibs may freeze in the winter and to prevent that, they should be shut off at the source or covered on the outside with an insulator. It should not be difficult to find an insulator as they are available at most home goods stores.
If you don’t have a home warranty, now would be a good time to think about one. Such appliance service contracts help you save money on repairs due to unexpected appliance breakdowns. You could also look into our general appliance maintenance checklist to ensure that your home runs smoothly always.
We hope you found this article useful. Let us know your thoughts. Cheers!
Builder’s warranty is a written statement by the builder assuring that the house was completed as per a stipulated set of standards. This provides a form of protection to buyer from latent defects.
This form of warranty is also called a Limited warranty and is issued by the builder on their work. This is done either within the sales contract or as a separate document. The period of duration of such contracts are usually between one to ten years.
A Typical Builder’s warranty covers only the material and workmanship issues of various components relating to a new building. This includes
As mentioned before, the duration is largely dependent on the component. For example, material and workmanship issues are covered for a year. This would include paint, drywall, siding and stucco, door and trim etc. HVAC, plumbing and electrical units are usually covered for two years. Major structural defects like a roof that may collapse or any other structural damage that pose danger to the residents are covered for a period of up to ten years.
These warranties do not cover the cost incurred by the owners as a direct consequence of material and workmanship issues. Eg, staying away or moving out temporarily while a repair is being conducted. They also DO NOT cover the following:
If you wish to make a claim for your repair, first and foremost, refer to your warranty contract to ensure that the damage is indeed a covered one. If so, place a request to the builder informing them about the damage and requesting for a repair. It is recommended that you place this request in writing even if the company has a telephonic submission method. Ask for receipts and keep records of all correspondence. These records will help you if a dispute arises.
The builder’s warranty cannot replace the Homeowner’s Insurance or Home Appliance Warranty. All three are very different and have their own unique features.
For your own safety, it is suggested that you ask the following questions about your warranty.
The laws related to enforcing these warranties vary in each state. Therefore it will be a wise step to check with your State’s attorney general’s office or contractor licensing board to ensure that your builder follows all the laws as required by the state law.
Make sure that the contract is thoroughly studied and preserved. Experts say that the longer the contract, lesser the benefits. Such long contracts indicate inefficient builders who use vague clauses to narrow down the possibility of you succeeding in filing a claim. Shorter the contract, better the builder.
You may be asked to sign a “Warranty document” at the time of closing the sales. This is often a way to impose more rules on you and thereby narrow down your chances of making a claim on your warranty. If you have already agreed to sign such a document on your sales contract, you can’t do much about it. But if you have not consented to any such thing, you can and you should refuse signing this.
Towards the end of the duration of your contract, get your home inspected by a professional home inspector. This will help you make the best out of your warranty.
We stated earlier that the builder’s warranty cannot be used to replace a home warranty. Although both these plans cover home and it’s components, they are poles apart on certain matters.
You can also read about Differences between Homeowner’s insurance and Home Warranty.
The builder’s warranty is always a good way to ensure that you won’t have to pay for any repairs caused due to faulty or badly constructed structures. Always remember to clear all questions you have prior to signing the contract. Once signed, preserve the contract and other documents carefully. Should you ever feel that the service you received is not up to your expectation, spread the word. You can visit websites like ours to read about warranties and other topics related to owning a home. Cheers!
Green Landscaping is a new trend of sorts and it causes the least harm to our nature so I suggest that you read on. You might already know that Landscaping is essentially the practice of improving the aesthetic appearance of a confined or set area by making use of colors, contours, trees, or plants, you name it. Altering the visible features of an area immensely influences the emotions of the people who constantly occupy that area.
Over the years, Landscaping has become more than a hobby to many. With the rising amount of pollution and falling levels of energy resources, you may want to consider an alternate way of Landscaping. Why not adopt a method that will not only make your yard stunningly beautiful, but will also help you save the environment and conserve energy too?
That’s what Green Landscaping is all about. Green landscaping, also called as sustainable or eco-landscaping makes use of methods that do not harm the environment in any way. It uses less water, protects the natural vegetation by making use of native or naturalized species, manages the waste disposal efficiently and also optimizes energy usage. And guess what? The costs are much lower too! On the whole it offers healthier and inspirational spaces to people.
People who take up Green Landscaping are often called Green Landscapers, and trust me when I say this, they are not lazy, jobless people who took to Green Landscaping just to kill time. They are highly motivated and they don’t take environmental issues lightly. Green Landscapers treat their designs the way other people would treat Home Insurance, everything must be covered. Based on reading so far, if you genuinely want to start one on your own, do read the rest of the article.
Begin by assessing the site where you plan to start your green landscaping activity. Pay attention to the following:
The most basic form of Green Landscaping requires minimum effort. All you have to do is reduce the amount of solid waste and conserve water. Eg, you could simply create a compost pile instead of bagging your twigs and leaves.
Don’t see what’s the fun in the idea you just read above? Fair enough, here are some elaborate methods
If I were to write down all the details about green landscaping, I would easily use up an entire hard-disk (of one TB). It is not an easy task, but once you can get into the flow of it, it will be easy and highly rewarding. With the current rate of fuel consumption, our environment is dying out fast. Nobody wishes to leave behind rotten goods for their children. Do what you can to save nature. Let’s adopt Green Landscaping and make this world a better place to live in.
What’s it like right now out there for home sellers? Well, for one thing, despite the wild gyrations of the stock market over the last several months, houses are still being sold. Not only are houses selling but many regions are showing signs of solid home value increases as inventory hits a bottleneck. This is the good news. The not-so-good news is that parts of the western U.S. are not enjoying the rising sales prices. As homes in those parts of the country stay on the market longer, sellers find themselves in competition with other home sellers. And that leads to knocking prices down or making other costly concessions to close a sale. If that sounds like your situation then what can you do? What can any seller do when a house doesn’t sell as quickly as desired? The answer to that question is many things. But one thing in particular is relatively inexpensive and easy to accomplish. That one thing is buying a home warranty.
Home warranties have not exactly been praised in recent years, so it might seem unlikely that anybody will see these contracts as a big plus. But that’s a widely adopted misconception and one that deserves some closer inspection.
I asked the founder of the home warranty industry, American Home Shield, to help me understand why their customers involved in real estate sales are choosing to cover their listing periods and buyers’ first years of ownership with a seller provided home service contracts.
Lisa Rice, National Vice President, Real Estate Sales at American Home Shield answered the call for information with some details that real estate professionals and home sellers may want to consider when deciding whether or not to buy a home service contract.
What types of home warranties are available to home sellers right now?
American Home Shield offers different levels of coverage for homeowners in any number of situations. Sellers can offer any of our AHS packages to the buyer at closing – Shield Essential, Shield Plus or Shield Complete. Shield Essential, for instance, provides comprehensive coverage to a seller on their “essential” systems that could fail during the listing period. Further, a seller’s portion of coverage is paid at “closing” – so there is no up-front out-of-pocket expense to the seller.
What is the average cost of these contracts?
Our prices vary based on the part of the country you are in, but in some parts of the country, you can get our basic Shield Essential plan for less than $2 a day. The Shield Essential plans cover major appliances and home system components.
Do these contracts typically help homes to sell faster? If so then can you cite any statistics?
According to a 2013 real estate study conducted by NRT, we found that homes with an AHS Home Protection Plan sold an average of about 11 days faster and about $2,300 more than those without a home warranty — that’s over three times the average price of the plan itself. Also, in many states where multiple offer situations are a reality, buyers might choose to provide sellers coverage during the contract escrow period to make their purchase offer more attractive. This is a tremendous benefit for the seller.
Can you say what percentage of these contracts result in paid claims?
An American Home Shield customer uses their plan an average of two times per year. We accept and pay more service requests than any other home warranty company in the nation. In the past three years, we have serviced about 93 percent of claims. That’s added up to $1.7 billion over the last 5 years and $3 billion in the last ten years.
Lisa’s feedback helped greatly. Even as someone working on the marketing side of the home service contract industry I still need to understand why the industry keeps growing its customer base, despite so many consumer advocates and other critics lambasting home warranties as a waste of cash. But there were still questions that I have seen and heard from homeowners not familiar with the home warranty. And a few of those are important to air out, in my opinion.
Isn’t home warranty something that overlaps with homeowner’s insurance?
Absolutely not. But this is still a good point to address. It’s a common misconception among a large percentage of homeowners in the U.S. Truth is, your homeowner’s insurance mostly covers the unforeseeable things that happen TO your house. Home warranty covers the things that happen in your house that is expected, even guaranteed to eventually occur. Your insurance is a wager of sorts between you and the company issuing the coverage, their bet being that you’ll pay a lot more in than you ever get out in claims. Home warranty pays for things that are much, much more likely to happen to almost any coverage purchaser, things like dishwashers wearing out and refrigerators needing replacement. This is where the common complaints about home warranty are most easily linked to the nature of the service promised to customers. Homeowner’s insurance is typically far more expensive to maintain per year than a home warranty would be for the same house. Why? Well, the main reason seems to be the price that customers are willing to pay. People just don’t want to spend as much on home warranties, it would seem, as they do their insurance. But by looking for the absolute cheapest home warranty you are practically inviting problems down the road. Like insurance, the home warranty can’t operate profitably for the company unless more money comes in premiums than goes out in claims. Homeowners would do well to keep in mind both the differences between homeowner’s insurance and home warranty and the dynamic at work inside the companies. Sometimes you really do get what you pay for!
This one is easy. HomeWarrantyReviews.com is the best place to narrow down the options that a homeowner has for home warranty coverage, no question about it. You won’t find a website that has been around longer than this one, when it comes to providing unbiased consumer feedback about home warranty companies.
This is the best and first question a homeowner can ask, in my opinion, when considering a home warranty.
Do you need one? Do you not need one? Is it better to put money in savings or have a credit card with a good sized credit line on standby for emergencies? Is it better to buy the home warranty?
Answering these questions can be as arbitrary as a coin toss for some people, simply due to all the uncertainty involved. Though a newer appliance is less likely to break and may be covered under a manufacturer’s warranty, there is also the matter of how time consuming finding a qualified, reputable contractor can be. And if you’re an investor with multiple rental properties, that time you spend calling around to find a good contractor may be greatly multiplied.
To help you with this decision, I would suggest you read this article here on HomeWarrantyReviews.com, with helpful tips about deciding whether a home warranty is something you need or not.
Kevin Wallach writes about the home service contract industry and works in a marketing capacity within the home warranty industry. He has followed the industry for five years and has worked just as long to help bring customers and companies together through Internet marketing. He also is the administrator of the Home Warranty and Service Contract industry group on Linkedin.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Your home is the center of your everyday life and possibly your most valued asset. When your home is destroyed or damaged, you want your claim sorted out by an insurance company that realizes this simple fact. A right homeowners’ insurance company best meets your needs and provides you with the most valuable blend of quality service, custom-made coverage, and fair pricing in policies.
Depending on where you live – an apartment, house, or condominium – the right home insurance plan can give you peace of mind along with the money you need to replace or repair your home and/or stuff. Home insurance policies vary by the type of coverage you choose, the losses covered and the type of residence you own. You pick a policy that is best for you, whether it’s an all-inclusive policy that covers losses such as smoke, fire, falling objects, and theft of personal property, or whether it’s a policy that covers specified losses.
Your home insurance plan is made up of the precise options you select. The amount you pay for your policy depends on what coverage you buy, how much you want to cover, and where you set your limits. There are many types of homeowners policies available when once you decide to be a homeowner or not. The most significant part of homeowners insurance is the level of coverage. Avoid paying for more than you require. Below are the most common levels of coverage.
As insurance policies come in many shapes and sizes, the same is true for insurance companies and agents, who can charge different rates for the same coverage. Bigger insurers are not always better and small don’t essentially have the best customer service. So, it’s always good to shop around for the top deals and ask the precise questions in an attempt to know what you are really receiving.
Prior to signing on the dotted line, you should understand that not all homeowners policies are the same. This is always one of the most common misinterpretations about insurance. According to a survey, more than a third of the homeowners said they did not have or didn’t identify if they had adequate homeowners insurance coverage. In 2005, after Hurricane Katrina affected the city of New Orleans, and again in 2012, when Superstorm Sandy damaged numerous communities in New York and New Jersey, thousands of worried survivors got a rude shock when they found their standard homeowners’ policies did not cover flood damage.
Many catastrophic events are not covered in the basic homeowner’s policy, but they are still insurable and require additional levels of insurance. In some cases, homeowners need entirely different policies, which are usually several times costlier than the typical homeowners’ premium. Some homes are situated in high-risk areas such as flood, hurricanes and earthquake zones, which make buying additional insurance a top priority for these homeowners. Instead of the usual $250 to $1,000 deductible under basic coverage, you have to shell out 1 to 5% of your home’s insured value (up to 10% in Florida).
Hurricane season is an old threat for many residents living along the southeastern coast of the U.S. Hurricane Matthew, which made arrival on Oct 8, 2016, left an expected $6 billion worth of property loss in its devastation across states such as Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, and Virginia. If you live in a region that is prone to hurricanes, you must have certain emergency plans in place. Homeowners in hurricane-prone areas need to act fast to file damage claims with their insurance firms. For instance, if your home is insured for $200,000 and your plan has a 3% deductible for hurricanes, you will have to expend $6,000 out-of-pocket on a storm-related claim.
When you buy a homeowners insurance policy, one of the must have insurance policies, you must prepare the latest home inventory to speed up a claim settlement if you ever need to make one. A complete home inventory, help your insurance company verify the property easier, which in turn makes settling your claim easy. Additionally, you can validate losses for your income tax return with the latest home inventory without any hassles.
For many homeowners, insurance is something to be thought of again, i.e., until the worst occurs. Homeowners who wait until they experience a loss before assessing their own policies do not get the full value – may be little value – out of their incalculable premium payments.
Homeowners insurance is a monetary agreement, but it should also be treated as a living entity to be cherished over time. By reading your policy wisely, shopping around for the suitable agent, comprehending your coverage limits, and create an updated property inventory.
While appliance protection plans are always a wise purchase if your appliances are older than 4 years, you still have to make sure that you chose a home warranty company that has a good reputation. It has been noticed that companies sometimes deny our claims on vague grounds, often quoting fine print from the contract. One major such reason stated for denying claims is lack of maintenance.
More than a handful of customers have reported that their claims were denied stating that the device was badly maintained. While it is understandable that customers feel cheated, we still have to realize that since contracts explicitly mention that lack of maintenance issues are not covered, we can’t expect the company to repair such devices.
Let’s take a look at a story that happened sometime back. A lady bought a home warranty contract thinking that she’ll get some budget protection. Her appliances were well over 4 years old. She briefly breezed through the contract and assumed that except for damages due to hazards, thefts and some explicitly mentioned perils, every other damage was covered. One day, her radiator breaks down. She informs the home warranty company and they send a tech to take a look at the device.
The tech finds out that the device was never serviced for quite a bit of time which eventually led to its breakdown. He innocently reports to the same to our lady who gets mad at the tech and the company. The lady then decides to write about this incident on the internet without realizing that the fault could be on her part. She did not get her devices serviced nor did she read the contract carefully. The company’s reputation suffered due to her carelessness.
Now let’s take a look at another story. Yet another lady bought a home warranty contract from a company that was not really famous nor did it have a good reputation. She paid her premium and she was a good housekeeper who regularly got her appliances serviced. She turned to her warranty company when her refrigerator malfunctioned. This company then sends over a tech who diagnoses the issue to be one caused due to lack of maintenance. The lady was distraught. She was sure that the issue was something else but what choice did she have? The company in question here, operated without ethics and refused to repair a damage that was legit. This incident too leaves the lady furious and in a position where she would definitely bad mouth the company.
So you see, like a coin with two sides, the home appliance warranty industry too has a good side and a bad side. There are cases where genuine claims were denied just so that the company can make a profit and there were cases where the denial was genuine and the customer could just not accept it.
We understand that nobody wants to encounter such unpleasant experiences. We can’t make these warranty companies behave themselves, so what we can do is to make sure that we don’t associate ourselves with companies that have a bad reputation or are fraudulent.
Here’s a list of things you can do to avoid any disputes and conflicts
We are a team of likeminded people who built HomeWarrantyReviews.com to provide genuine feedback about the industry to its customers, so we are not here to praise the industry or cover-up their mistakes. In the time that we spent here, which is over 9 years, we have come to realize the following:
If you keep all these points in mind, we’re sure that your experiences with the home warranty industry will be a pleasant one. Cheers!
HomeWarrantyReviews.com caught up with Gary Serbousek, the founder of HomeOneWarranty. This is an excerpt from that interview. HomeOneWarranty (HOW) provides its software solution to home warranty companies. In this excerpt Gary discusses the company, their product and their aspirations to bring changes to the industry.
HomeOneWarranty is a software company focused exclusively on providing a solution for home service providers. The company was founded to provide home service providers a comprehensive solution to automate and streamline their business. We have nearly 30 years’ experience in the warranty business and are committed to providing the industry a superior solution. Virtually every industry has access to systems designed specifically for their needs, we felt that the time was right to provide home service contract providers the time and cost saving advantage of a commercially developed application.
We currently have six customers and are in conversation with several other companies. We believe our rapid growth validates that the solution meets the needs of the industry. What is particularly exciting is that our customers range from companies managing 10’s of thousands of transactions a month to “start-ups” managing a few hundred transactions. The investment is structured to make the solution affordable for any size company. We plan to announce a few more customers shortly but are purposefully managing the company’s growth to ensure that all our customers get great customer service.
Our customers and the market really dictate what additional functionality we add to the product. For example, we saw that many companies were struggling with the policy renewal process so, in our latest release, we included functionality to automate that process. The results have been fantastic. Many of our customers have doubled their renewal capture rate.
The Agency portal, a vehicle that allows Brokers and Agents to create new policy orders, was the result of our customers requesting functionality to help tighten their relationship with agents.
Currently, we are working on a Customer portal so that the end consumer can buy policies, request services, and track status of either claims or repairs. We are especially excited by this new capability as it will add further process efficiencies and, like renewals, we anticipate that it will result in increased revenues.
The ability to consistently deliver game changing capabilities “out-of-the-box” is why our customers have abandoned costly development efforts and instead rely on HOW. We offer our customers a more cost effective solution and significant time to market advantages.
The HomeOne solution is a very comprehensive, end-to-end system that, we believe, provides value to every stakeholder. So, the features “liked best” is dependent on the role(s) one has within the company. The call center agents like that they have immediate access to homeowner and policy data, including history. Claims likes the ability to immediately determine coverages and entitlements. Marketing likes that they can create targeted outreach efforts, for example, notifying a customer of a pending renewal. Accounting likes that all critical financial data is captured and integrated to back-office financials. Owners and Executive Management especially like that they have immediate access to reliable information to easily measure the health of the business and what programs are performing or underperforming.
We are most proud of the fact that our customers have a single, comprehensive solution that enables them to manage their entire business enabling them to focus on providing great value to the customer. Most of the companies that we speak with are reliant on multiple systems that aren’t connected. We help companies streamline their business and to benefit from the efficiencies inherent in a well-designed solution. It is tremendously satisfying to hear our customers tell us “you have really made our lives easier.”
Unfortunately, like any industry, there are the few whose goals and objectives might not align with the overall purpose of the industry, and the home service industry is no exception. Overall, we have been tremendously impressed by the integrity and honesty that the vast majority of home service providers deliver to their customers. We also believe that the complexity of the industry has caused some of the negative perception. It is extremely difficult to provide superior customer service when relying on antiquated systems or manual processes. There will also always be a few bad apples. For the vast majority of companies that truly strive to provide great product and customer support, HomeOne can help.
We are definitely seeing more companies expressing interest in the space outside of the traditional service contract companies. For example, utilities companies, while not new to the industry, are becoming increasingly active in offering home service contract options. This might create some concern especially with local service contract providers since utility companies have a captive market and are already communicating with, and marketing to, the home owners. Ultimately though, competition is good, It creates more product awareness and, we expect, will result in higher premiums. Generally, that should be a good thing for the local service contract providers. The challenge for the local companies is remaining competitive. A system like HomeOne will help them to reduce cost inefficiencies by streamlining their internal process while delivering a better customer experience. We think that’s how we can help ensure that all companies can compete successfully.
We hope to make a difference in the industry, and the fact that we are the only company, that we are aware, exclusively focused on the home service contract business makes us unique. We have a long history in the market and have had the opportunity to meet with and speak with a countless number of business leaders. No one has ever told us “we went into the home service contract industry so that we could build software.” We believe that by enabling our customers to focus their time, effort, and people on growing their business and providing exceptional customer service, we can make a difference.
Providing a better solution to our customers enables them to provide better services to the home owner. Many of the complaints from homeowners are that claims and requests for service aren’t being addressed in a timely manner or to completion. Most home service contract companies don’t have solutions that give them easy visibility to a homeowners policy to determine entitlements, what claims should be covered, and the status of a service request.
With HomeOne a company can quickly determine whether a claim is covered and easily track the corresponding service request, including which company the work order has been assigned so that they can quickly follow-up to make sure that the work is performed. With the Customer Portal, we expect that many homeowners will track their service request without having to place calls to the home service company.
We have been very pleasantly surprised by the response that we have received. Typically, the first thing we hear when speaking with a company for the first time is “we had no idea that there was a company focusing exclusively on providing a software solution for home service providers.” Almost unanimously the comments on the system are extremely positive. Whether they end up as a customer or not, the comments after seeing the solution is that we clearly know the market and that it is reflected in the product. The best part is receiving a heartfelt “good luck, the industry has needed a solution like HomeOne.” We encourage people to take a look at the software. Even if they are not currently in the market for a new solution, we always appreciate the feedback on what we can do to deliver a better system.
Home One Warranty software addresses the specific needs of Home Warranty providers. Founder, Gary Serbousek, has more than 15 years’ experience in the extended warranty and service market and has worked with many leading home warranty providers as well as a variety of industries that provide warranty and extended service contracts.
Email: [email protected]
Phone: (720) 381-2408
Would you like to see your company featured in one of our upcoming interviews? HomeWarrantyReviews.com is committed to bringing U.S. homeowners and industry experts the news and topics that mean the most and are most timely. If you think your company has news or a story that home warranty consumers or the industry itself would be interested in reading then please contact us.
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.
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.
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,
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:
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
These generally include appliances such as an oven, refrigerator, dishwasher, garbage disposal, microwave, washing machine, clothes dryer and ceiling fans.
These usually include furnaces, air conditioners, heat pumps and ductwork. However, portable air conditioners and heaters are not always covered.
It includes indoor pipes and drains, faucets, swimming pools and hot tubs.
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.
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:
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:-
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:-
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.
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.
Warranties do not cover any structural problems in your home, such as a crack in the basement wall or a leaky roof.
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.
The company may not be willing to repair items that were improperly maintained or installed or that violate building codes.
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.
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.
American Home Shield, the nation’s largest home warranty provider, announced that it has launched a new website to help first-time homebuyers. While there are many resources available online, the new website, FirstHomeResources.com aims to be a one-stop shop for consumers ready to buy their first home.
A recent survey from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) showed that owning a home is a high priority for 51 percent of renters. With this kind of figure, it is apparent that more help is needed for anxious first-time home buyers who will be hungry for thorough information. FirstHomeResources.com is a comprehensive website for home buyers who are scouting for information online.
Speaking on this initiative, Philipp von Holtzendorff-Fehling, Chief Marketing Officer of American Home Shield said “American Home Shield’s mission is to make home ownership easier and this website is just an extension of that mission”.
He said purchasing a home is a complicated and daunting process for first-time homebuyers as it requires significant planning and research efforts. The company has built this website as a free resource to help future homeowners navigate the pitfalls and prepare for the unexpected.
We at HomeWarrantyReviews.com, present a comprehensive review of the new website.
At first glance, the site looks amicable and contains menu bars for easy navigation. Here are the menu choices and a closer look at the features offered.
This section introduces you to homeownership, its benefits and responsibilities and how owning a home can build equity when compared to renting one. As a first-time homebuyer, it is important that you recognize the nuances of a buyer’s market. Also in limelight are the most vital aspects of buying such as mortgages & creditworthiness, as well as the credit score system, affordability and mortgage plans.
It then moves on to explain the home market and types of homes to look for. “Planning your Search” section provides insights on working with a real estate professional in finding a home. This area stresses the fact that the Internet is the best place to research and gather relevant data.
You can also download a complimentary copy of the “First-time Homebuyer Guide” which contains key tips and checklists to plan your purchase and move.
Making a purchase is probably the most crucial juncture in fulfilling the dream of owning a home. This segment covers diverse aspects surrounding the deal. From hiring an inspector to helping you assess the pros and cons of a property, to shopping for mortgage and more, detailed purviews are provided here. This section also covers the value of a home warranty and traditional homeowners insurance along with the benefits of those services. For a homeowner, a home warranty can provide important protection against unexpected expenses when covered major appliances/systems break down due to normal wear and tear.
If you have struck a happy deal with the seller and are settling down, refer to this section for links and websites to help homeowners. While many websites listed are primarily the services offered by Service Master, this section also covers some external websites.
This area gives an opportunity to enter a drawing to win iTunes gift cards from American Home Shield. Two $50 gift cards and one $500 gift card will be given away each week and an additional $3000 winner will be drawn monthly. The sweepstakes is open now through 10/31/13.
American Home Shield is a subsidiary of The ServiceMaster Company and is the industry leader in the home warranty industry. Founded in 1971, AHS services more than 1.3 million customers across 49 states in the US. The Memphis-based company employs approximately 1,800 employees and has a national contractor network made up of over 10,000 independent home-service contractors.
With a global network of more than 7,300 company-owned, franchise and licensed locations, Memphis-based ServiceMaster is one of the world’s largest residential service networks. The company’s high-profile brands are Terminix, TruGreen, American Home Shield, ServiceMaster Clean, Merry Maids, Furniture Medic and AmeriSpec.
Disclaimer: The information provided here is to educate homeowners with the latest industry updates. We are not advising for or against any of the above companies.
Maintaining everything in the home is one of the major concerns homeowners have to deal with. Every homeowner worth his salt will tell you that the primary expenses incurred in the process of home maintenance are due to appliance and system faults.
Having said that, we’re sure that everyone has heard of Appliance / Home maintenance plans or simply put, home warranty plans. Such plans are contracts that agree to provide you with discounted repairs and replacement services for household appliances and systems. Do keep in mind that such plans are for ageing appliances that have suffered quite a bit of wear and tear over the years. Appliance warranties only cover damages that are due to age, wear and tear.
The working of such plans are quite simple. You purchase the warranty from a home service provider for a specific duration. During the coverage period, if your appliances / systems breaks down, you only need to call the your warranty provider. They will send a technician to fix your faulty item at just a nominal service charge fee. The actual cost of repairs will be borne by the company.
Hence, in many ways, a warranty is a wise way to protect your budget from unexpected expenses. To know more about home service contracts, read things to know about home warranty. You’ll find that helpful.
Now, coming to the actual problem that this article addresses, cost of home maintenance plans. In general such appliance warranties are affordable and reasonably priced. Most companies offer a specific set of plans from which you can choose, based on your requirements.
The annual premiums for a home service contract ranges between $200 – $ 600, for a home under 5,000 sq.ft. When you purchase a plan, you will be provided with a policy booklet that explicitly specifies all the items that will be covered. You will also be provided with information about various other terms and conditions. Like we said before, home service contracts do not cover damages due to anything other than age and regular use. For faults due to crime, hazards and other perils, you may want to check the difference between home insurance and home warranty.
In addition to the annual premium, you may also have to pay a nominal fee as the deductible each time you raise an issue. Deductibles usually cost between $50 – $100. There are some companies that offer zero deductible appliance protection plans
Like we discussed before, different providers charge different amounts for their plans. Following are the facts that decide the cost of home warranty.
If you want to purchase a home warranty plan, we suggest that you get your home inspected first. While some companies offer this service prior to the contract being signed, some companies do not. A home inspection reveals a lot of potential problems that your house may face and the inspector may even recommend a plan to make the best out of home warranty.
If you are still unsure about home warranty, we suggest that you go through our web site and read some informative articles that may help you solve some confusion. That said, we still think that a home warranty is a clever way to protect your appliances and save cash in the process. Cheers!
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.
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.
If you suspect you are dealing with the wrong people already or believe you too have been scammed do not delay making a formal report to the appropriate agency or agencies. Both at the state and national level in the U.S. there are free and fast ways to make your voice heard when you feel you’ve been misled by a business or been the victim of a scam. The important thing is to act quickly and not give up if you feel your complaint is being documented but not being acted upon.
2-10 Home Buyers Warranty is in the process of launching Green Advantage Warranty as part of protection assurance programs for new and upcoming green building initiatives.
The 2-10 home appliance warranty company offers Green Advantage Warranty to builders who meet eco-friendly standards. Builders need to build homes that fulfill the requisites of Energy Star, National Green Building Standard (NGBS), or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards.
Green Advantage Warranty includes repairs and replacement of Energy Star certified products and appliances. Coverage includes the replacement of green labeled items, engineered wood products, sustainably harvest lumber, low or no emission finishes and recycled products with accordance of applicable national certification standard.
Scott Cromie, Chairman and Chief Executive officer states that “With one in four homes now certified by green building standards, it is clear that home buyers want a more eco-friendly home, and that offering warranty protection that targets these values offers builders a clear competitive edge,” and also reports “Our new Green Advantage Warranty represents 2-10 Home Buyers’s Warranty commitment to greener business practices, and celebrates the home builders and home buyers who want a greener home and lifestyle. We’re proud to offer a product that meets these standards, while continuing to provide the same leading, trusted protection our company stands behind.”
Builders interested in participating are encouraged to call 877.777.1344 for more information. You can register to 2-10 HBW Green Advantage Warranty, just by adding up a minimal additional fee over the existing standard rate. It is as simple as checking a box next to the certification standard on 2-10 HBW’s Home Enrollment Application.
Green Advantage Warranty is an added policy to the company’s existing home warranty package, including one, two and ten years of coverage offering for new construction home builders. Company’s 10 years warranty covers structural warranty defect. Under the policy of 1-2-10 warranty one year of surety coverage of workmanship and materials. Two years of warranty also covers on systems.
About the company
2-10 Home Buyers Warranty® is in market for more than 30 years, now the company has offered customers and their homeowners the most comprehensive warranty program available. Whether you’re building, selling or buying a home, 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty offers a complete line of warranty, service contracts and risk management products. Since 1980, 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty has provided warranties and service contracts for more than 5.5 million new and pre-owned homes.
This infographic depicts the most basic definition of what a Home Warranty is all about. Although the title says that it is for dummies, we’re sure that even people with average/ above average intelligence can keep up!
Now, an appliance warranty is a form of protection your purchase for your household appliances and systems. It is a contract that offers to provide you discounted repair and replacement services should your device sustain any damages.
As you can see in the infographic, all major systems and appliances are covered. Now that would include refrigerator, built in ovens and microwaves, washer/ dryer, HVAC units and major systems like plumbing and electrical units. Additional coverage can always be purchased, so you can rest assured that all your devices can be protected!
This is how it works. When your covered device gets damaged, you simply place a call to the warranty company explaining your situation. If the damage is not an excluded one, your claim will be taken up. The warranty company then sends a technician to your home to fix the damage.
Let’s discuss the claims part. Like we said, when you notice a damage, all you need to do is inform the warranty company about it. Did you notice that title saying “Common reasons for claim denials”? Yes it is true. Although this does not happen often, it is still noticed that companies often deny claims. The grounds for claim denial varies from company to company and can be understood only after you go through their policy booklet.
However, common reasons for denial are as follows
Don’t worry too much about it. If you choose a reputable company, chances are low that your claims will be unjustly denied.
Moving on, let’s discuss the premiums and deductibles involved. As the image says, the annual premium for most basic warranty plans are somewhere in the range of $250- $500. This can vary depending on the extent of coverage. Larger the coverage, higher the premium.
Each time you raise an issue, you will be expected to pay a deductible/ service call fee (it’s nominal, around $50). The happy news is that there are some companies offering plans at zero deductible.
So there! That’s what the infographic is all about. Isn’t it an awesome image? Cheers!
In the past year, over 32 real estate agents have helped consumers with more than 13 residential home sales in Houston, Texas. The oil slump can’t hold back Houston’s top realtors as the Houston’s housing market is performing extremely well. Sales have ranged in price from $99,000 to $697,500. Now, homes are available for a variety of price ranges – from about $300,000 near downtown to around $2 million in the best neighborhoods along the city’s Energy Corridor.
Below is the list of Houston’s leading realtors based on their gross sales volume in dollar amounts, the number of transactions and the average price of homes sold-
A Houston-area native, Paige is a proficient and successful partner in any residential real estate transaction. Armed with an in-depth knowledge of Houston real estate market, her skills have marked her as one of the most preferred agents in Houston. With a customer-focused approach, Paige is dedicated to providing brilliant service. After graduation from Baylor University, Paige started her career as a marketing consultant, developing individually-tailored marketing techniques for her customers. She now employs those cutting-edge skills to aid her customers to buy and sell their homes with the least amount of stress. She monitors clients through every aspect of learning about Houston, relocating to Houston and ensuring hassle-free real estate transaction.
Paige Martin, a Broker Associate with Keller Williams Realty and owner of HoustonProperties.com is ranked as one of the top residential real estate agents across the world. Her website HoustonProperties.com features more than 1,200 pages of Houston real estate information on over 40,000 properties for sale in addition to a large number of resources for home sellers. Paige has successfully sold over $250million of homes and is listed among the Top 25 Residential Realtors in Houston for the second consecutive year in terms of individual gross sales and transactions. She has also been featured on TV and in several publications including:
Paige has been a consistent top producing agent and has won over 198 awards since 2003 for excellence in customer satisfaction. Her recent awards include:
Whether you are buying or selling a home, James Krueger can help you win at real estate! He is the owner of Kruger Real Estate which was founded on a corporate philosophy of devoted commitment to quality service. Upon graduating from Texas A&M University as an All-American archer and economics major, Kruger worked as a business analyst for Reliant and then a consultant for an executive compensation firm. He believes that excellent real estate service begins with personalization – with one agent who listens, learns your goals and helps you accomplish them. Krueger Real Estate agents are backed by a team that keeps you informed through every step of the home buying or selling process while giving you unmatched customer service. As a former litigation, Kruger understands legal contracts and also knows how to value a property to get you the best possible deal.
Krueger Real Estate mainly serves the Greater Houston Area and surrounding areas including Katy, Cypress, Sugar Land, The Woodlands, Spring, and Tomball. Krueger is pioneering an exclusive model to improve agent retention and client satisfaction. Unlike many traditional brokerage firms, Krueger Real Estate pays attention to duties that a realtor at other brokerages is responsible for. It provides a distinct advantage in maximizing the exposure of their listing through online, print, and social media outlets. The local experts assure you of professional photographs, proficient staging and presentation guidance, an online marketing blitz campaign and thorough listing descriptions that will make your home noticeable from the rest. “If I can create an amazing place to work, I can attract super high-quality agents who attract high-quality clients,” said Krueger, broker and owner of Krueger Real Estate.
Krueger Real Estate employs a client relation management system to keep an eye on its clients and has a call center that tries to answer all new client queries within 3 minutes. Krueger’s client focused approach seems to be working and has helped him grow his company. In 2013, Krueger started with 8 agents who made $27 million in home sales and the following year he grew his company to 15 agents who brokered $46 million in home transactions. In 2015, with 45 agents, Krueger’s firm collectively made $65 million in closed and pending sales. Krueger aims to crack $100 million in sales in 2016 and has a dream to grow his company to 250 agents, expand to the four major Texas markets and break the $1 billion home sales mark by 2020.
“I always wanted a fun, cool place to work, so when I started my company, I wanted to make it an enjoyable place to work,” Krueger said. “A company isn’t anything without the people you have on board.”
Krueger has been named the Top Producer by the Houston Association of Realtors for 2012 and 2013. He is a certified negotiation expert (CNE) and has the following Professional Real Estate Memberships:
Founder of The Loken Group, Lance Loken strives to be the excellent real estate service provider in all 9 countries in the Greater Houston Area. The group is backed by a team of specialists out of the Keller Williams Realty Signature office who serves real estate buyers, sellers, and investors to make your home buying and selling experience pleasant. By employing the newest technologies, business tactics, and market research, the agents are able to list your home strategically and effectively. Most importantly, the agents listen and find solutions that are tailored to you.
Prior to entering real estate, Loken worked as a C-Level executive for firms like The Wood Group Renewable Energy Service, Francesca’s Collections Inc., and C.D. Johnson Companies which helped him shape the way he approaches real estate. “My goal is to always be your real estate SOLUTION – whether that means helping you buy, sell, invest or rent,” Loken said. Loken is an Accredited Luxury Home Specialist (ALHS) and a Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist (CLHMS).
From paperwork to marketing, The Loken Group stand by you in every step of the way, replying to your questions and offering exceptional customer service. They were recently named:
The team of specialists at The Loken Group manages clients in all price ranges. Their luxury division is backed by proficient luxury experts who help clients in more than $650,000 price range.
Alfonso Parodi obtained a Business Administration degree with a Minor in Marketing from University of Lima, Peru. Thereafter, he moved to Houston and lived there for 9 years where he had the opportunity to attain extensive experience and training in Sales including residential lending, real estate, retail, networking, recruiting, marketing and primarily customer service. Parodi is competitive and goal-oriented with a passion for delivering outstanding customer service. In just 3 years, Parodi has become a top agent at Realty Associates in Houston which is home to more than 1800 agents.
Alfonso founded Team Parodi in 2013 whose focus is to bring the best group of agents together with a support team of award winning interior designers, experienced inspectors, proficient photographers and all other experts to help customers buy and sell their homes in areas such as Cypress, Houston, Humble, Katy, Tomball and more. Team Parodi at Real Associates is proud of each purchase or sale that aids clients to attain their dream home!
The technology savvy agents employ the cutting-edge tools and programs to give their clients an advantage in the fast moving and super competitive market for a successful transaction. Currently, Team Parodi is backed by 6 key members and will be adding more agents to be better prepared for a very busy future market. Whether buying or selling a home, Team Prodi is ready to be your trusted resource.
Owing to his excellent communication skills and expertise, Parodi is selected and recommended time and again by his clients. He has been awarded in the top 1% Buyer Agents among 25,000 agents and also:
With professional accomplishments in both experience and education, Parodi maintains the Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) Designee. Presently, less than 3% of 1 million agents carry this designation. Besides, he has the following Professional Real Estate Memberships:
Angela Pipes is a Licensed Real Estate Agent at Redfin Corporation with 17+ years in the Houston Real Estate market representing both sellers and buyers. She is passionate about the relationship with her clients which helps her adapt to their needs and receive referrals. Whether you are a first-time buyer or an accomplished seller, Pipes would guide you through the entire process. A member of the Houston Association of REALTORS, Pipes has established a reputation for being proficient in handling land sales, new construction, investment properties and resales including historic homes in the Heights, Montrose and other neighborhoods such as Katy, Memorial, Spring Branch, Clear Lake, and Galveston.
Pipes mainly works in the urban communities of Houston and keeps abreast of real estate developments and attending community events. She is an advocate for those interested in building better practices, smart growth and energy efficiency. Pipes works closely with her clients to make sure every sale closes without a hitch. She is always accessible, prompt, and thorough with her clients’ requests and her quick response time with emails is appreciated as well.
Angela Pipes has been qualified as a Top Production REALTOR based on 2016 second quarter listing side number of MLS sales transactions of the Houston Association of REALTORS. This certification is given to those who aim to maintain the highest ethical standards and whose production ranks among the highest number transactions within HAR’s 25,000 brokers and agents. As a Certified Negotiation Expert (CNE) and Accredited Luxury Homes Specialist (ALHS), Pipes has proven to be a valuable asset to Redfin and to her clients.
Just the decision to take the task of building a home into your own hands can be daunting, keep aside the fact that liabilities are now yours alone to deal with. The joy of being there every step of the way and having a say in every brick, beam, and wall comes with a lot of responsibility. The smallest of injuries on site to a worker, accidental falls, natural disasters and other unforeseen circumstances can put your budget off by thousands of dollars.
Time is a factor as well, having the plan pushed back by weeks, if not months; time and money that you cannot get back. Such accidents are what makes it prudent for you to invest in structural insurance, warranty and legal coverage for all the essentials.
Structural insurance functions within the parameters of Builders Insurance and Site Insurance, covering claims regarding the foundation and architectural framework of the building, as well as the integrity of the site it is built on.
As the percentage of self-built homes increase in the US, numerous companies now offer a comprehensive list of structural insurance for homes built without the assistance of building agencies.
If narrowed down to just structural claims, structural insurance covers the claim of any structural defects in a home for a fixed number of years after it is built. Often certain companies have a secondary set of rules, pertaining to the fact that the claim will only kick in 7 to 10 years after the house is completed.
That being said, structural insurance usually comes hand in hand with site and builders insurance as well, both essential and usually synonymous with structural insurance.
Site insurance is offered to builders as well as individuals who have purchased land and intend to construct. It not only covers any natural disaster-related damage – fire, storm, flood – to the land, but also the temporary structures on it. The coverage puts aside a certain sum to take care of any unforeseen circumstances that may cause huts, caravans, tools and the building under construction itself to be partially or wholly damaged.
Certain insurance companies not only take care of the monetary side of things but also offer services to clean, repair and bring back the space to its former state.
In recent times, Builder’s Insurance has become a must for self-built structures, especially since it establishes a sense of trust between the homeowner and the bank or builder who is offering monetary assistance.
Builder’s insurance acts as the umbrella under which site and structural insurance fall, but often companies do cater to individual needs by offering them separately. These insurance policies even accommodate for theft of tools and valuables from the site, but usually, put a limit of the claim. That being said, it is important to pick appropriate coverage plans and not under or over-insure your property.
Allowing delays and pushbacks, any building or structural insurance for individuals who are constructing on their own extend to 18 months, as opposed to the usual 12-month coverage given for builders.
Building a home isn’t only about the structure and integrity. Along each step of the way, you have to be aware of not only accidents and loss that are beyond your control, but also any harm that the process may cause to workers, the public and adjacent private and public property.
As a homeowner, you are liable if any of your workers are injured during the course of construction, or even if they fall ill due to toxic substance exposure while they worked for you.
Even a trespasser walking into property can have a legal claim if he or she is injured due to any improper construction methods.
Damage to surrounding property can be another reason you are faced with a very large bill for compensation. Everything from a falling tree branch to heavy machinery vibrations that may cause harm to adjacent structures can be seen as cause for a lawsuit. Most often, such damage is seen to happen during the time when your foundation is being set, causing worry about underground water sources and support extending below the ground of other buildings in the area.
Besides structural and builder’s insurance, warranty extends the coverage, claims, and care for years after the home is built – taking care of issues and damage that insurance does not address. While insurance deals with unforeseen circumstances and matters that were out of your control, Home Warranty offers solace when you need to deal with maintenance, repair, and replacement due to general wear and tear.
Usually put in place for a period of ten years, Structural Warranty covers defects in the foundation, load-bearing walls, beams, pillars and sometimes even wiring and plumbing systems. Not only does it keep you worry free, it also assures that any negligence on the part of the contractor is covered for without conflict.
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.
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-
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!