The year 2014 was quite an eventful one for the home warranty industry. While there was no event which majorly affected the industry or it’s participants as such, there were some events which surprised many.
Two companies were seen expanding their operations by buying other companies and three companies closed their doors for good. Overall it was a year of mixed events. HomeWarrantyReviews.com hopes that the year 2015 rings only pleasant surprises for the industry members.
Let’s take a look at the main events which occurred in 2014.
The industry witnessed a bankruptcy in March, 2014. Colonial Home Warranty filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection in New Jersey. In a shocking development, the company had decided to close its doors for good, leaving its customers in a state of shock.
The protection sought by the company from the New Jersey court did not cover consumer interests and hence they were left helpless. Colonial Home Warranty had made news in November 2013, when it was reported that they were selling warranty plans in California, even though the California Department of Insurance had prohibited the company from selling their services in that region.
In May, 2014, Sensible Home Warranty, a fast growing warranty provider made an announcement through their website stating that they were closing the shop for good. While reports of dissatisfaction among customers of the company was widespread, nobody was expecting an abrupt closing.
Many customers were left clueless about how to get their money back. The company has remained unavailable for a statement so far. Hope that the new year does not surprise the industry in similar fashion!
Yet another shocking incident of 2014. In early October, a new entrant in the industry, Certified Warranties Corporation (CWC) filed for bankruptcy owing to financial instability. The Illinois based company had a nationwide footprint. But in its last few months, was asked to exit from California and Florida due to licensing issues.
The company was founded in 2010 and had quickly managed to gather a large customer base. Feedback from customers revealed that their services were almost always good, save a few isolated incidents. This added to the shock of customers who probably believed that CWC was going to grow into one of the trusted companies in the industry.
The company has not divulged any further details and hence the reasons behind their financial problems remain unknown.
This one’s an acquisition story. In November, 2014, AHS, the company that is famed to have founded the home warranty industry itself, announced its plans to acquire HSA Home Warranty. AHS also announced that the reason behind this decision was that the company believed that HSA Home Warranty compliments their company and will help improve their services further. The President of AHS also stated that post transition, HSA will be continuing to function as an independant brand.
AHS founded the home warranty industry in the year 1971 and continues to remain as one of the leaders in the industry. The company is a business unit of the ServiceMaster group.
Fidelity National Financial (FNF), a fortune 500 company announced in early December that it was all set to acquire Buyer’s Protection Group. FNF started out in the year 1995 as Alliance Home Warranty but was later acquired by FNF in 1998.
BPG was a leading provider of home warranty services in the nation. The Georgia based company was established in 1987 and was a seller of comprehensive home warranty plans and home inspection services.
Details about the buyout was not disclosed by FNF or BPG. Both companies are members of National Home Service Contract Association.
Like we said before, though industry was not severely shaken by any incident, we hope that the new year will bring good tidings. As before, we will be waiting to hear about your experiences with home service contracts and warranty providers. We will continue to bring you the latest news and updates from this industry like always and we wish all our readers a great year ahead.
Freon is not as common a word in the American lexicon as it used to be. And that is greatly due to the phase out of the product that started decades ago. That common household name was once the main chemical component in central heating and cooling systems, but that started to gradually change in 1987 when the U.S. government decided to gradually get rid of the ozone damaging chemical. That chemical, technically referred to as r-22, is only a handful of years away from the end of its U.S. phase out timeline.
Your home’s air conditioner, when it’s working the way it should, does not need added coolant. But like most machines, the ideal condition and the real world condition of the average central heating and cooling system differ.
People who have recently discovered leaks in their older HVAC systems will already be aware that it’s getting more expensive to recharge the coolant. As less r-22 is available to technicians and homeowners the costs will probably continue to increase. Here’s what I learned about this trend and what we all may expect in the future.
Some U.S. homeowners are immune to the problem of rising Freon costs. Newer homes, particularly ones built after 2010, typically have HVAC systems that use newer coolants, ones that will be around for a long time and are produced and distributed in greater quantities. But those of us with the older systems face a dilemma. Do we upgrade to a newer HVAC system, a decision that involves lots of out of pocket costs, or do we continue to accept the rising expense of recharging the coolant in leaking systems that regularly require a refill?
After researching this myself I concluded that the most cost effective choice is to leave the existing system in place at least until 2020, but that is only true if the system is running well and not leaking coolant. I also believe that a system that requires some component repair or replacement but does not leak is cheaper to keep than replace. I found that to be true after looking at the prices of replacement parts. Long after r-22 is no longer made there will still be new parts manufactured for the older systems. Those parts will not contain any coolant though. That is the most important thing to consider when making your own decision. At what point is it more expensive and time consuming to find a technician or coolant source still carrying the old coolant type? That will likely vary from one area of the U.S. to another. But keep in mind that some of that coolant will still be available in the form of reclaimed product, taken out of systems and reused, for years to come.
If your HVAC system is in poor condition then you may be better off trying to find a way to afford the cost of replacing the entire system. I arrived at that conclusion after examining the costs of replacing individual components of an older system. And here is the real problem with continuing to fix that old system. The newer coolant type, r410a, does not work with older systems. Trying to convert a system from r-22 to r410a is highly impractical. The system pressure is higher for r410a, the lubricant type is different and overall it’s a throwing good money after bad to even attempt a conversion for most homeowners.
Anyone in this situation who plans to keep the house for more than a few years should think seriously about financing options. Some local utility companies and some HVAC installers offer financing options. And in some instances the monthly payments may be very reasonable. On the other hand a homeowner who does not intend to keep the house much longer can’t look at such a hefty cost as a good idea unless the new HVAC system will result in an equal or greater boost in the sales price of the house.
There’s another thing to consider in all of this. If your system is leaking heavily then it’s not just costing money to recharge. It’s also releasing a chemical into the air in your house and ultimately into the atmosphere. And there is a good reason that the chemical was marked for phasing out in the first place. It certainly isn’t helping the environment to have it being released into the air from lots of older homes. For some homeowners that, coupled with the greater efficiency of newer HVAC systems from an energy use standpoint, is enough to make the cost of the new system acceptable.
Home protection plans, commonly known as a Home Warranty or appliance protection plan is a service contract that agrees to offer discounted repairs and replacements of your household appliances. It means that if any of your covered appliances breaks, the home warranty company shall provide you with a qualified technician who will repair your device and cover the cost of repair as well.
Ideally, appliance protection plans are best suited for people who have appliances that are fairly used and above 4 years in age, as this is the time where most of the functional issues arise. It is highly recommended that you purchase a home service contract if any of the following are or all are true.
If you were to ask if these plans are worth the money, then we would have to admit that there is no straightforward answer to that. There are quite a lot of happy customers out there who swear that purchasing home warranty was the best decision they ever made and yet there are people who think otherwise. It is up to you to decide if you will benefit from a home protection plan. If you are in need of more guidance, please read the Home warranty buyer’s guide.
You purchase the appliance protection plan from a home warranty company for a certain amount of coverage. This coverage could be vast and cover almost all the outside and inside appliances or it could be the basic version. If a device covered by the plan fails to operate properly, you simply place a call to your home service contract provider. They will then call up a service vendor with who they have contracted and tell them about your issue. Service vendor then collects your contact information and contacts you to fix an appointment.
He/she then comes to your home to take a look at the damaged gadget. If the repairs needed are minor, they will oftentimes be fixed on the spot. Major repairs and part replacements need approval from the home warranty company. If parts are to be replaced, the home warranty company shall procure them for you and get the appliance fixed. Sometimes, if the technician determines that the device can’t be repaired, depending on your coverage, the home warranty company may replace your device.
Hence, one can say that the benefits of Home warranty are the following:
As mentioned before, there still exists a school of thought that home warranty plans are not worth the money. Hence, we must discuss the drawbacks of these plans.
Because of these reasons, we suggest that folks who fall under the following categories, don’t purchase a home warranty. This is only a suggestion, if you believe that you shall benefit from a home warranty plan, you should go ahead with it.
You can consider an extended warranty to protect your new devices. You can read about the differences between home warranty and extended warranty to clear your doubts.
If your devices are new, chances are low that they may need repairs often. Also if they are still covered by the manufacturer’s warranty, any damage will be covered by them, provided it is not an excluded case. And all of this is unnecessary if you are a repair vendor yourself!
Home warranties can be a great way to protect your budget and your appliances. As mentioned before, if you fall into the former category where your devices are old and so on, we highly recommend that you purchase a home warranty. Otherwise, you can do without one.
A lot of unpleasant instances occur due to lack of understanding of the working of the plan. Hence, we urge you to read the policy booklet and the offer document carefully before you make a commitment. These documents are highly significant and have to be studied and preserved carefully. If you are certain that you want to purchase appliance warranty, please go through our reviews section to choose the best provider out there. Good luck!
In a quite short period of time, home protection plan have grown considerably in recognition. Today, the plans are almost standard in every city real estate transactions, where 8 of every 10 homes sales are covered. Homeownership can be one of life’s many pleasures, but it’s not always cheap. Most likely the last thing a homebuyer wants to do after closing on their new home is to shell out even more money on appliances or systems that unpredictably break or malfunction. It’s a usual part of being a homeowner, though, and procuring a home warranty protection plan is one way you can attain some peace of mind.
When your appliance breaks down, don’t worry about whom to call to fix it, or what it will cost. There are various options by which you can protect your budget from pricey emergency repairs.
Want to know how home warranty works? Watch this video –
Home warranty plans, also called home protection plans, are basically service contracts or insurance policies that cover major appliances and systems of a home. It’s a good idea if you are a first time home buyer without any understanding in maintaining a home or property. Homeowners insurance does not cover breakdown of a home’s major systems or appliances, but a home warranty protection plan can help with repair expenses such as refrigerator that stops running, or your air conditioning system breaks down in the middle of the night.
When a breakdown happens that involves a system covered by the home warranty plan, the homeowner calls the insurance firm and desires a service call. The cost of the service call, which ranges from $35 to $95 per visit based on your location, is salaried by the owner. The warranty company allots the call to an approved contractor, and the home protection company shells out for the system repair or replacement.
Home warranties naturally cover the mechanical systems of a home such as heating, plumbing, water heater and most built-in appliances. Structural components and pre-existing conditions are usually are not covered. For instance, if the water heater hasn’t worked properly for some time, it possibly that it won’t be covered in the buyer’s home warranty plan. Other items which are typically not covered include faucet repairs, sprinklers and permit fees. Some home warranty cover roof repairs and garage door openers with certain limits.
Another common problem with home warranties is that you will not be able to decide the repair provider that will care of your problem while the warranty is in effect. Normally, if a covered item breaks down, you will put notify your home warranty company, which will select a service provider with which it has an agreement.
Additional coverage is accessible under most home warranties at an extra charge for a spa, pool, air conditioning and freestanding appliances, such as washer, refrigerator and dryer.
Coverage usually runs for a year, but it may be extended at the owner’s choice for a renewal fee. Some people keep their home warranty policy in position for years and years. If the home protection plan is ordered at the time a home is bought, inspections are normally not required.
If you don’t want to have to be anxious about repairs in your first year of home ownership, a home warranty may be a good idea. However, it is imperative to weigh up your warranty, to ensure that you will be properly covered.
Know the basics of home warranty.
Extended warranties, by providing protection for pricey purchases and increasing the span of a product’s original warranty, have become the standard for many retailers. These warranties often appeal to economical consumers, for whom purchasing big-ticket items like appliances and electronics can be a challenging decision.
An extended warranty or service contract is like an insurance policy – your savings buys off only when the most evil happens. But do you actually want one? These days, almost all the brand – name appliances are sturdily – built and generally last their usual life span with few or no repairs, rendering extended warranties pointless. In case you do choose to get one, ensure that you do your homework.
There might be instances where an extended warranty is affordably priced and makes up for a limited warranty that covers little ground and has short period of time, and thus, is worth it. But too often, they are a waste of money. Before you purchase an extended warranty, ask yourself the following questions:
You frequently forget that while your product may certainly break down later on, the price of the product will also depreciate later on. Only when the forecasted cost of replacement or repairs become considerably greater than the present cost of the extended warranty, should one consider buying the extended warranty. And still, a warranty must only be thought out if there is also a significant chance that the appliance will stop working in the first place!
Certainly, warranties are significant and you must always ensure that when you buy pricey appliances – like clothes dryer for example – that it has a warranty to follow with it. But if a salesperson is attempting to get you to buy an additional extended warranty, be doubtful. Think about sales and advertising. There is always an income motive and retailers and merchandisers can regularly make money off consumers when they purchase extended warranties than when they buy replacement products or pay for repairs! This is why third party companies and retail stores provide extended warranties, not the manufacturers.
Think about sales and advertising. There is always a profit motive and retailers and merchandisers can often make more money off of consumers when they buy extended warranties than when they buy replacement products or pay for repairs! This is why retail stores and third-party companies offer extended warranties, not the manufacturers themselves.
The moral of the story is that you must do a little math and significant thinking prior to buying an extended warranty. Possibly it will be a wise purchase, and may be the money will be better used up toward other services or products.
Don’t lose your cool over unforeseen home repairs; call the experts for a home service contract. One such company that provides Service Contract is Service America. Never again will you have to worry yourself with the hassle and high cost of unforeseen repairs.
Service America is protecting its customers from unpredicted air conditioning, appliance and plumbing repairs for over 38 years saving them a ton of money, time and unnecessary frustration. When something breaks down at home, it becomes necessary for you to rush and find the right technician to fix the problem. Many times it’s an urgent situation and you don’t have the comfort of shopping around for the best price. But you can avoid these types of stressful circumstances, save money and experience peace of mind at the same time by buying a Service Contract.
A Service America Service Contract covers all these appliances and services for just one low yearly cost.
Quoting and buying a service contract takes a few minutes but expectantly you will find it effortless. In order to obtain the best possible coverage you need to give basic information about your home.
In the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) industry, equipment servicing is generally headed by the issuance of HVAC service contracts. The key purpose of this is to describe the terms of service as well as the cost, the length of service and what requires to be done, and each package of contracts is exclusive to each type of service. These service contracts incorporate full-coverage, full-labor, preventative-maintenance, inspection contracts, and end-use contracts.
All of these HVAC service contracts cover the tasks of each party, material cost, wages and how to decide arguments with a complete document. The equipment, procedures, tasks, unique descriptions and reports on the precise work to be done ought to be covered as well. Every contract also sketches processes and details the responsibilities of the contractor and owner. Regardless of which contract is signed, there can be several contracts put into practice for the same parties at any given time.
Appliances are a vital component of a well running home, as they are utilized every day. When they stop working, an appliance repair professional is able to restore the item to full working order. Along with repairs, professionals will regularly service your appliances to make sure that they run as safely and efficiently as possible.
Appliance repair professionals can render the following services amongst others:
While hiring your appliance repair professional, make sure that you get a quote on the work that needs to be performed. Ensure that the quote incorporates the call out fee and the cost of any parts that must be replaced. The professional must also be ready to give assurance of their work for a certain period of time. It’s good idea to investigate several repair pros in your area and pick the one that offers experienced technicians, reasonable prices, and good customer service. Always make sure that the professional is insured and licensed.
For decades now, the American Dream has been synonymous with Homeownership. Even though the housing market has not got back up after the recession hit of 2008, a majority of the population still strives to own their dream home, looking at it as a sign of stability and accomplishment. The only thing that changes is what each individual, couple or family unit is really looking for in a home, and at what time in their lives, they choose to take the leap.
Statistics show that an approximate 70% of all Americans hope to own a home of their own, comprising a solid 80% to 90% of millennials, aged between 18 and 34. Even though there is a postponement of getting married and having children in the lifestyles of the latter, parents – single or in committed relationships – have dream homes high on their priority list.
As far as dream homes go, it can be safely said that a mere one-third of the cross section across generations claim to already be living in their ideal residence, most aspiring to own a space larger and more luxurious. Yet, size isn’t everything and a very large percentage do want homes that are sized neither too small nor too big, between 1500 to 2500 square feet on an average.
At the end of the day, aspirational homes are greatly dependent on the age-bracket that you fall under – each generation having constantly changing needs, wants and family structures. While Millennials prefer to invest in homes which are high-tech and modern in both structure and amenities, the Baby Boomers (between 50 and 70 years at the moment) are in search for or have already invested in ranch-style homes which are comfortable and easily accessible.
The want for modernity has blended right in with the need to entertain, socialize and have a good time. Countering the luxury of numerous bedrooms, the new dream home features a large spread out floor plan with incentives and perks like French windows opening onto decks, views of the city or the sea, gourmet kitchens, fancy wet bars and open terraces.
A style of building, interiors, and structure that are appreciated across generations, French Country is making a comeback into the list of homes that Americans aspire to own.
Having its own touch of fantasy with its French feel, these country homes combine to perfection the resourceful American architectural techniques with French flair and decorative elements. What is more, being a type of home which first gained popularity in the early 1900’s, these country houses can be structured as anything from a small old-worldly cottage with a yard and a fence to an extravagant castle-like mansion with French windows and elaborate décor. Whichever it may be, they are known for their warmth and comfort, with tall window panes letting in plenty of morning sun and a mix of stepped roofs and gables with arches over the doorways to balance out the sharp edges.
The French traditional façade and elements of elevation are kept up through the use of stucco, brick, wrought iron rails and window panes, while the floor plan of the home tends to be more modern and functional – altering itself to fit the needs of your current lifestyle.
Colonial homes are known to be one of the most popular styles of architecture in America, characterized by their sharp geometricity brought by the European colonists in the 18th century. Themselves influenced by the Greeks and Romans in the past, European stylistic tendencies soon cropped up in various parts of both urban and rural America and is still known for its grandeur, symmetry, and stable stature.
The house is the epitome of formal balance, with the entrance being centrally located and brought to focus by the use of columns, often decorated around the capital or fluted from top to bottom. The formal balance is echoed in the sturdy and square foundation, on which stand an approximate of two or three floors. Taking it a step further, the windows are usually all the same size, symmetrically distributed on the façade with decorative shutters and multiple panes.
The past two to three centuries have seen very little change in this style, though certain homeowners do add elements to suit their needs. As far as dream homes go, the Colonial three-floor home in the city acts as the perfect bridge between the bustle of urban life and a safe and secure space for you and your family. It’s efficient and need based design caters perfectly to the new age priority of functionality while incorporating elements such as classical decorative detailing, hardwood floors and fireplaces without any compromise on the traditional look and feel of the space.
Tudor style homes date back to England in the 1500’s, owing its name to the Tudor Dynasty which witnessed the last developmental phase of medieval architecture in England. The Tudor we know today owes a great deal more to modern alterations made to the style of that time, known now as Tudor Revivalist architecture.
Bringing in elements of both the Victorian charm and tradition as well as ornate gothic height and elevation, the Tudor Revivalist structures feature decorative timber on their façade, placed to give the entire house a sense of stability and weight even though they are purely ornamental in reality. In complete contrast to the colonial style of building, Tudor homes are characterized by their marked lack of symmetry, which is noticeable in all aspects of the interior and exterior of the home. Stressing on the abstract over geometric formal balance, the houses have a mix of angles and shapes which are rather varied, though they fall together in perfect harmony.
In recent times, newer constructions have been shying away from building Tudor style houses, but its archaic quality mixed with its abstract structural plan still keeps it in demand with the present generations of Americans.
A style which came into being wholly in America, Traditional Ranch Homes are the Baby Boomer’s dream right about now. Ideal for family units and retirement, ranch homes are known for their close to ground single story plans, minimal or no decorative elements, and functional priority in all aspects.
Influenced by North American colonial architecture from the Spanish colonies, Ranch houses cut out direct sunlight and heat, offering the owner a covered porch with a view of the street – right out a country western flick.
Similar in functionality and priority as the Ranch homes, Cape Cod-style houses too boast of low floor plans and modest exteriors. These have now been subject to some experimental design in the past few decades, opening out the floor plan further and increase ventilation, living space and light. The new age American home is beginning to look at the importance of privacy and elbow room, which low floor plans can easily be altered to provide.
With amenities at the minimum, the house was once associated with the simple life, fusing modern ideas of to-the-point design with the American belief system of casual living spaces and informal communities and family units.
The last of the major shifts in architecture in the US, the nineteenth century saw the advent of the Arts and Crafts movements which came into existence in direct opposition of the opulent Victorian style (which was characterized by decoration in all fields) as well as the continued revival of classical styles of the past.
These styles developed into the contemporary ideals of home ownership shared by the present generations of Americans and focused on simplicity and inspiration from the surrounding nature itself. Not wanting to construct obstructive structures or spend excessively, the building materials and amenities were kept to a minimum in both, though each style was distinctly different.
The Craftsmen style featured small, sturdy and extremely well-built bungalows known for their expert craftsmanship and lasting strength, while Prairie homes were characterized by spread out floor plans that echoed the prairie through its extending porches, courtyards, and balconies.
While many of us dream of owning the home down the street from theirs or a cottage that they once drove by in the countryside, a large number of Americans in recent times prefer being able to control and individualize their dream home’s floor plan and structure.
The Contemporary and New American trends in construction are rooted in the need for basic form and function over decorative opulence, incorporating abstract floor plans and leveled rooms and spaces to allow for a flowing interior while not compromising on private spaces.
A touch of luxury has entered the privacy of bedrooms and baths as well, bringing in leisure into busy lifestyles by introducing simple tweaks like couple sinks, bath tubs, walk in closet spaces and oversized windows to greet you in the morning.
The spaces blending into one another also serves well when it comes to the love for entertaining, where open kitchens, terraces and landscaped backyards become a part and parcel of what a dream home should have.
Open floor plans are supported by open facades as well, with numerous windows, minimal dividing walls and doors, and a stress on abstract and asymmetry over formal balance. This focus on function has led to bigger questions regarding the environment as well, with homeowners who are building or renovating using natural and eco-friendly materials available close to the site of construction over large amounts of concrete.
While owning your dream home can be an aspirational standard you work towards, every home can be made to suit your best and serve its every purpose to the fullest. Even spending a few hours every Sunday on a little gardening or a spruce up cleaning spree can make a great difference in the feel of your home, and bring to the fore elements of its structural beauty that you never noticed before.
HomeWarrantyReviews.com holds within its array of articles not only guides to Home Warranty coverage and companies but also Do It Yourself guides and hacks to maintain your home and garden, giving you a space to discuss and learn about various ways to bridge the gap between physical appearance and functionality when it comes to your home.
Discussing the various types of the home is something cool. But what is cooler is to keep it that way. How? You might ask!
We only have three words for that – Research, Ratings & Reviews!
So take out those keen eyes and get online, check for the track record of the home warranty company in question by seeing the innumerable reviews on the internet. Check for their ratings and gauge how the company is performing and see for a fact how clearly the site’s rate a home warranty company, you know you can betcha on our site because we understand how important credibility is & we’ve been the go-to site for many such types of internet researches on home warranty shenanigans!
Which home would you rather purchase? One that gives you no protection if the air conditioner, plumbing, furnace, garage door openers or dishwater go kaput or one the with a home warranty that fixes any repairs for less than $100?
Majority of buyers would opt for the latter. It is simple to see why many sellers are making home warranty part of the selling contract. Provide yourself a marketplace edge by giving buyers peace of mind.
A home warranty offers the buyer with peace of mind that helps in case there are any problems with major appliances, electrical or home systems. Generally there is a deductible service fee of about $ 60 payable per incident. The cost is generally around $300 to $400 in the form of an annual fee which buys peace of mind and adds value when you’re staring at selling your house.
Additionally, some real estate companies may provide appliance and system protections plans to their customers at no extra charge. Nearly all real estate agencies will offer this service for free, which is generally built into the selling price of the home and brokerage of the realtor.
People who are procuring an older home will buy a warranty if there isn’t one already provided by the seller. This is where having a home warranty for your home is an excellent selling feature. Potential buyers are ought to be impressed if the home is already covered for its appliances and systems.
You can effortlessly find a company that provides appliance protection on our website here or by asking your real estate agent. They will possibly have a list of good home warranty companies that they have used in the past and can advice. Your research also helps choose the best. It’s vital to find out what a company charges along with coverage and other clauses.
You must compare plans based on the categories below.
With a home warranty, you can give buyers with peace of mind allowing them to be assured that the home is worth their investment. This can be an outstanding selling feature for any home, new or old. A home warranty can aid you to sell the home faster, standing higher than other homes for sale on the market that do not come with a home warranty.
Selling your home can be a daunting task. Providing appliance protection should do the trick. This service gives your home buyers the composure they look for.
A few tips for you that will better the chances of finding a buyer for your house.
One such improvement is kitchen remodeling. The key aspects you must bear in mind when remodeling are good floor area, sufficient storage space and other modern features. An agent in your locality will be the best person to advice. You can also look up on the internet for resources.
The most common reasons people go for kitchen remodeling are :
Putting back old kitchen cabinets with solid wood – whether cherry, oak or even something less pricey like pine and kitchen counter tops is a good way to increase the kitchen’s usability and appearance as well as the market value of your home.
Like kitchen remodeling, bathroom remodeling needs the services of a professional contractor.
It is important to have a comprehensive plan and know what type renovation work you want before beginning the project so that code compliance laws are met and essential permits obtained.
Be specific when making the list. Instead of just a lavatory, identify the type. Pedestal lavatories can cost over $300, while a simple wall-hung model can just be under $ 70. Designer toilets will be a little over $ 1,500 while a standard two-piece model will cost under $100. Shop for the finest quality fittings.
Besides, here is a list of 6 tips for selling your home that can change the way home buyers look at your home.
This list gives you a starting point on economical ways to improve your home’s marketability. Now you should walk your home and try to find the little things that could be made cleaner and brighter with very small expenses.
When it comes to acquiring plumbing skills, there’s no time like the present. The idea has crossed your mind before, but you did not make the time to do it. Study the great advice in this article, and you will be happy that you finally took the time to do so, if you ever have plumbing issues.
Learning how to put off plumbing problems such as bursting pipes, leaks, and clogged drains is simple with the right tools. Old and new homes similarly require year-round attention to plumbing details, so watching for the signs of plumbing troubles is a must.
Plumbing services can be pricey. Most homeowner want to do what they can to reduce how many time they have to call for help with their drains, pipes and other plumbing features. There are a few easy tips that you can pursue on a usual basis to lessen the need to use plumbing services in your home.
Always explore plumbers thoroughly before you make a decision to use their services. Sometimes plumbers will not be very good at their job, and can even make problems worse than they are. Ensure to look at online reviews, or ask for a referral from a family member or friend. To know more about these things check out our Home Maintenance guide.
If you pack a little knowledge and a few actions of the plumbing trade into your home care toolbox, you will be able to keep away from the kind of plumbing problems that can literally soak you.
Here are 8 tips for spotting and avoiding plumbing problems before they cause serious damage.
1. Leaky toilet. Toilet repairs are one of the most common plumbing problems. While the toilets themselves don’t tire out, the working parts inside them can. Leaks are a frequent result, and one leaky toilet can waste around 78,000 gallons of water a year, sufficient to fill up a backyard swimming pool!
In case you inspect a leak, test out your theory by pouring a bit of food coloring into the toilet’s tank and waiting overnight. In case the dye shows up in the bowl the next morning, you have got a leak and it’s time to put back the flush valve, an simple job that requires only a few dollars’ investment and a little of your time.
2. Clogging shower, tub or bathroom sink drain. Bathroom drains can get clogged quickly with hair and soap residue, which is not only a plumbing problem, but a cluttered one as well. Before you find yourself with a flooding backup, clear the way with a dry or wet vacuum, a useful trick of the trade that definitely beats time-consuming extraction with an auger.
3. Kitchen sink backup. Grease, cooking oil and other fats can literally gunk up the pipes in your kitchen sink, causing serious plumbing problems. In its place, be smart about waste disposal and outfit sinks with strainers to catch errant items and keep them clean. Occasionally flush the drain with a few gallons of boiling water to soften accumulated soap and grease. Applications of products like Roto Rooter’s Pipe Shield can also stop kitchen clogs.
4. Main shutoff valve. Your home’s plumbing system can have hundreds of different valves, but knowing the position of just one can avoid thousands of dollars in damage to a home. The main water valve regulates the flow of all water into your home and should work properly to prevent disaster.
To keep away from severe flooding if a plumbing problem were to occur, find the main water valve, which is generally located at the lowest level of your home near the street, then test the valve to ensure it turns off properly. Suspend a large tag labeled main valve from the valve handle to make sure all members of your household can find it before the flood sets in. In case the home will be vacant for a prolonged period of time; it’s smart to shut off this valve before leaving so as to avoid a plumbing problem when you return.
5. Laundry connection. Another important plumbing point that can be a possible problem is the set of rubber connection hoses on your washing machine, which can be a hazardously weak link in the system. These hoses can dry out, burst and allow thousands of gallons of water to rush into your home. In order to avoid this plumbing problem, check the hoses frequently for blisters and cracks, and be sure to turn off the water supply valves to the washer before leaving home for an extended period of time. Better yet, put back the hoses with steel models, and consider about installing an easy-to-reach, single-lever shutoff valve just for the washer.
6. Outdoor faucets. Keep an eye on outdoor faucets year-round to make sure they are not watering the property without your knowledge, and make repairs and replacements as needed. Once the freezing season begins, turn off all faucets and drain them for winter by loosening the brass cap on the side of each faucet’s valve.
7. Water heater. Water heaters have quite long life expectancies, but when one leaks, bursts or otherwise breaks down, you can be in for a waterlogged disaster. Check your water heater regularly for signs of rusting or leakage at tank fittings, and if you spot potential problem, call in a certified plumber for a more thorough check to decide whether repair or replacement is in order.
8. Old pipes. Based on the age of your home and the water lines running to it, pipes made from bygone materials can be main sources for leaks and clogs. Old terra cotta waste lines can be broken and invaded by roots, and steel pipes are apt to internal rusting that can create quite a buildup, ultimately bursting or reducing water pressure to intolerable levels.
Broken-down waste piping can be treated with two methods:
As for steel plumbing pipes, take every chance to substitute them with up to date materials. The main horizontal pipes running through the crawl space, running from your home to the street, and pipes leading to bathrooms should be at the top of your substitution list, and sectional upgrades can be done anytime you’re making a home repair that involves opening walls or floors.
Learning a bit about plumbing can be a priceless tool to have in your possession. With the right awareness about plumbing problems and the appliances that they involve, plumbing problem prevention is easy. It can even minimize the need to call a professional for repair services.
Building insurance is a type of insurance most people don’t know enough about. This is the cover that provides for dealing with storm damage, accidents, malicious damage and a range of other things most people understandably prefer not to think about at all if they can help it. Building insurance is a type of “catchall” insurance, which covers damage to buildings which can run into very heavy costs for owners. So how do i insure a building? Read this article to get clear insight about building insurance.
Buildings and risk management
This is a very versatile type of insurance, and it needs to be. Building damage can include some extremely difficult, capital-intensive issues that owners have to deal with quite regularly. It’s a form of investment protection, very common in commercial properties, to deal with the risks of businesses. If you own several million dollars worth of building, you need to know you’re properly covered.
The fact is that any type of building ownership includes a lot of basic risk management by definition. If you own rental properties, you’ll be well aware of the possibilities of damage from various sources, and the fact that premises really need to be maintained. Damage has to be fixed, and if that damage isn’t adequately covered, it’s money out of pocket upfront, a loss in any terms unless you have a very good homeowners insurance policy.
That’s not good business practice, and it’s exactly what building insurance is designed to deal with. For homeowners, the issues may be different, but the principle is the same. If you’re paying off a mortgage, and the budget is looking a bit fragile, the last thing you need is building damage running into thousands or tens of thousands of dollars. That whole scenario has to be covered, and covered properly.
Building insurance basics
The best approach to building insurance is to take a long hard look at your needs and then start shopping around for insurance that covers your needs. You’ll probably be surprised to hear that online buildings insurance is quite easy to get, complete with upfront quotes and adjustable cover, which can be tailored to your needs. This is the new paperless insurance, bureaucracy-free to the extent that it’s possible to be, and it’s getting a lot of market share because it’s highly efficient for both private and business purposes.
The shopping around needs to include:
Buildings insurance is easy to get and easy to manage. Stay in front of the issues, and your cover will do the rest.
Recently, there was an interesting review posted at AHS warranty discussions page about dealing with insurance claims. The legal option suggested by the reviewer might be useful to some homeowners, who have difficulties dealing with home warranty insurance claims.
It is not practical and cost effective to take legal route to pursue your insurance claims and you may want to read How to pursue insurance claims article before you go that path. However, if you are fighting an insurance claim on a big ticket item, and you have exhausted all other options, this is definitely an effective strategy. Author of this post himself was an attorney and he effectively used the legal threat to beat the home warranty company.
Here is the excerpt:
I have discovered how aggrieved homeowners can turn the tables on home warranty companies and beat them at their own game. Please share this with everyone you know.
I’m an attorney and after having a problem with my home warranty company, American Home Shield, I decided to investigate whether other homeowners had experienced the same or a similar problem. What I found were web sites devoted to consumer complaints on which numerous homeowners had recounted incidents of fraud, deception, and rip-offs by their home warranty company. I also found a blog written by a former American Home Shield employee and another written by a former plumber for a home warranty company. Both recounted situations that would not pass the “smell test” in a court of law.
I also investigated lawsuits that had been filed against American Home Shield in Georgia, which is where I live. I found about 15 cases. The majority of cases had been filed in small claims court. As I reviewed the cases, I discovered that none of the cases had been litigated. In every instance, the case had been settled to the Plaintiff’s satisfaction although the details of each settlement were not part of the case file. With the knowledge that all cases had been settled to the homeowners’ satisfaction, I realized that American Home Shield would settle with an aggrieved homeowner before allowing a case to go to trial. My conclusion is that the only thing aggrieved homeowners need to do to beat home warranty companies at their own game is to file suit. The last thing American Home Shield wants to do is litigate a homeowner’s claim and the reasons are obvious to me.
The most obvious reason American Home Shield would not want to litigate a claim is that in most instances, the cost to American Home Shield to settle a claim would be less than the cost to litigate. The average amount of a claim in the cases I found was $3,800.00. Two were for less than $1,000.00 and only one was for more than $10,000.00. I’m sure far more than the 15 homeowners who have filed lawsuits in Georgia have had their claims denied. American Home Shield wins when a claim is denied and the homeowner does not sue, which is exactly what American Home Shield is counting on homeowners not doing.
Another reason American Home Shield does not want to litigate is because the company does not want to have to defend its craftily drafted contract or its questionable business practices, which is exactly what it would have to do if a case went to trial. American Home Shield also does not want such information to become public knowledge, which is also likely to happen. Additionally, a judge or a jury would also be hard pressed to return a verdict favorable to a company that engages in questionable business practices.
The final reason American Home Shield does not want to litigate is because a lawsuit actually places American Home Shield in a precarious situation. American Home Shield would have a difficult time defending any claim by a homeowner because the company has no first hand knowledge about the claim; it would need the testimony of the service contractor who, for its own reasons, may be less than eager to testify. The only knowledge American Home Shield has is what the company has been told by the service contractor. And any testimony from American Home Shield about what it was told by the service contractor is hearsay and not admissible in court.
To defend a claim, American Home Shield would need to subpoena the service contractor who actually made the diagnosis to testify about the claim. If the homeowner has done his/her homework, he/she would subpoena witnesses who could dispute the witnesses for American Home Shield. The homeowner should subpoena one or more service companies who had been called either for a second opinion or to make the actual repairs to dispute the testimony of the American Home Shield service contractor. The homeowner might also consider locating one or more other aggrieved homeowners to testify about their problem with American Home Shield. Another good witnesses for the homeowner to subpoena would be a former service contractor for the home warranty company or a former employee of a service contractor.
Since American Home Shield has at least three significant reasons why it does not want to litigate, the best and easiest way an aggrieved homeowner can beat American Home Shield at their own game (and most likely any other home warranty company) is to file suit. The one thing for an aggrieved homeowner to keep in mind is that if he/she does not sue, the home warranty company will win. But if he/she sues, the homeowner will most likely win. And that is how an aggrieved homeowner can beat American Home Shield at their own game.
My advice to aggrieved homeowners is not to stress over a denied claim, the denial of a situation as an emergency, repeated “band-aid repairs,” or a delay in authorization or in the repair of an item. I would also advise a homeowner not to waste time arguing with American Home Shield but to set a reasonable deadline for the appropriate action. Upon expiration of the deadline without receiving satisfaction from American Home Shield, the homeowner should then proceed as if they did not have a home warranty and then sue American Home Shield for reimbursement. The homeowner should also remember to document every action or inaction by both himself/herself and American Home Shield. Although the disadvantage to the homeowner is initially having to pay for the repairs, the advantage is that the homeowner can choose the service contractor and the brands and quality of products. I won’t guarantee all aggrieved homeowners will prevail every time but I have good reason to believe most aggrieved homeowners will prevail the majority of time.
For aggrieved homeowners whose claims were denied at sometime in the past, you may still be able to sue for reimbursement. To make that determination, the homeowner needs to research the statute of limitation for suing on a contract in their state. In any event, a homeowner should be safe filing suit for a claim that was denied during the past twelve (12) months.
Within the next six months, instead of reading homeowner’s stories about being scammed and ripped off by their home warranty company, I want to read stories about how homeowners turned the tables and beat their home warranty company at their own game.
If anyone has any questions, I can be contacted at [email protected]
October 7, 2014: In what came as a shock to many consumers and industry observers, Certified Warranties Corporation, a relatively new home warranty company, filed for bankruptcy owing to financial difficulties.
The company, headquartered in Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois is a nationwide provider of warranty services, however, due to licensing requirements, the company had recently exited from the states of California and Florida.
On October 3rd, 2014, Certified Warranties Corporation, announced through their official website that the company has filed for bankruptcy as it suffered financial problems. No further details have been provided by the company at the time of this article’s publication.
The company, founded in 2010, quickly acquired customers owing to their affordable plans and timely services. Certified Warranties Corporation had managed to gather a sizeable number of customers during its 4 year stint in the industry. Since most of their reviews were positive, the news of bankruptcy came as a shock to many.
Reasons behind the company’s financial difficulties are unknown as of now. The company has remained unavailable for a statement.
Certified Warranties Corporation had a good reputation among home warranty customers. The Illinois based company had a host of affordable plans, most of them were offered at zero deductible rates. The company also had a 60 day guarantee on all repairs they performed.
Certified Warranties Corporation was accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) since 2012. The company previously held an A-rating. BBB’s website states that the company met all the necessary standards which made sure that an institution is ready to resolve consumer complaints by taking necessary steps.
The consumer complaints summary for Certified Warranties Corporation on BBB shows that there were zero complaints against the company in the last six months. BBB also states that it knows of no significant government actions ever being taken against the company.
The company enjoyed good ratings on many online review sites. With over a thousand reviews from the company’s customers, Certified Warranties Corporation had a reasonably high rating on HomeWarrantyReviews.com as well.
Customers of the company have reported that while unpleasant incidents were not uncommon, the overall quality of services provided by Certified Warranties Corporation was above average. This only leaves us wondering as to what could have possibly gone wrong with the company in such a short span of time.
Until further details are revealed by the company, customers are encouraged to exercise caution when trying to place claims or buying plans from anyone who claims to be associated with Certified Warranties Corporation.
Do not discard your copies of the policy booklet or the home service contract. You may need these documents in case you are given an opportunity to recover your money. You can attempt to contact your State’s Dept. of Insurance and inquire about what needs to be done if your state’s laws afford consumers protection against loss of home service contract services without a refund.
Most importantly, make sure that you have coverage for your appliances. Now that you do not have coverage, assess your needs and choose a reputable home warranty company if you decide to go with another company. We suggest that you use reviews and ratings about various home warranty companies providing services in your area, before you choose one. Now more than ever it is important to judge the financial stability and long term sustainability of any company you consider doing business with.
How a home warranty benefits for aged? You might ask! Visualize this scenario: In your later part of life, when all the burdens have been released, you decide to finally live in peace. Enjoying all the luxuries of life, you decide to have a cup of coffee with the morning newspaper. And right at that time, you notice your ceiling fan is not working leaving you to sweat out all your calmness. You are now sitting there, brooding over the broken fan.
It is at this time, the role of Home Warranty comes into play and you can comprehend the home warranty benefits for aged.
Home Warranty aids you by taking up your responsibilities of such broken appliances and types of machinery. American Home Warranty Companies provide you with the service contract of repairing or replacing the damaged appliances. Thus, the elderly at home need not fret about any appliance that has gone old. Now that’s a home warranty benefit for aged if you ask us!
There are a lot of incapabilities that comes along with old age. Elderly folks do not have the energy to go out every time when an errand has to be done. Thus, an intervention into the lives of the aged, in the form of a home service contract can make a lot of differences in their lifestyle. Home Warranty or Home Service Contract helps them immensely this way by interceding to help them out. The elderly have to just dial the number of their preferred Home Warranty company.
When a repair has to be done, the Home Warranty company will send a technician to their home for repair. The incapacity to go out and search for a technician is a serious problem. With Home Warranty, the elderly would not have any such unwanted physical stress.
After thoroughly checking the Top Rated companies on the HomeWarrantyReviews.com, evaluate the companies that offer maximum benefits and get a quote. The problem is sorted. Thus, turning the negative of old age to a positive of peace of mind garnered by the home warranty benefits for aged!
By sending an authorized technician from the Home Warranty company, the vulnerability of being tricked on repairs is avoided. It is often a serious affair to find a trustworthy technician who knows what is to be done and how it can be done with minimum cost.
An efficient technician is one of the home warranty benefits for aged, who are not aware of the technicalities of appliances and can be easily fallen into the pit of deception. The elderly at home can pick up the phone and the companies are just a call away. And moreover, as an icing on the cake, the repair contractors provide the aged customers with necessary insight for further maintenance, which is such a relief to understand the proceedings.
After retirement, the income of the elderly decreases relatively. Keeping that in mind, if any major repair or maintenance has to be done, a huge chunk of money is spent on a single appliance itself. This adds to the insecurity of the elderly. To avoid such bulky expenditure, home warranty provides with the option of repair contracts with lesser spending.
Even with a standard Home Warranty Plan ranging from $200 to $600, most of the appliances are covered. After every issue is raised, a mandatory deduction of $50-$100 is done. Some companies even provide with Zero Deductible Services. Hence, Home Warranty assures a sheltered old age.
Here’s a thing for the children who are either working/living away from your Aged parents. A peaceful life is all that the elderly look forward to. Who would expect a heater break down in the cold American winter when your parents are all by themselves? A situation of helplessness arises. It would be an unpleasant state for you to see them suffer. Therefore think afar and get a Home Warranty quote for your aged parents.
Home Warranty covers the repair works of the appliances at home to avoid any kind of panic at old age. All you need to do is go to our website and read some of the home warranty guides completely. Decide on which warranty provider you are going to opt for after going through the Reviews.
On another note, your warranty provider may sometimes deny covering your claim due to various reasons. Unless there is a valid reason, no claims are denied.
Meanwhile, for the convenience of elderly, HomeWarrantyReviews.com provides you with the option of estimating your Home Warranty costs with the Home Maintenance Calculator. Thoroughly assess it and come to a conclusion. Choose the wise way to be protected. Then sit back and relax! Enjoy the perks of being old! With a lot of free time and favorite things to do, but never have to sweat when the Air Conditioner breaks. Because all you need to do is make a call to your warranty provider!
Here is a list of most read articles about home warranty on our site. Enjoy your reading and provide us your feedback!
Home Appliance Warranty Plans – What is appliance protection plan and how does it help homeowners
Extended Home Appliance Warranty – Things you should consider before buying an extended appliance warranty policy.
FAQs on home warranty plans – This section covers most frequently asked questions about the protection plan
Five Types of Appliance Protection Plans – Covers various kinds of warranties such as appliance warranty, manufacturers warranty, extended warranty, sellers warranty, home service contract etc.
How to choose a home appliance warranty plan – This article explains how to choose a home warranty plan and the service provider company.
Is home warranty necessary for buyers and sellers – Explains if home warranty is needed for sellers as well as buyers.
Average appliance repair costs – Provides a list of average appliance repair occurance percentages to help you decide whether you need to participate in a home warranty program.
Home warranty quotes – Home warranty quotes, coupons and deals
Is home warranty really an insurance? – Not necessarily. This articles explains why you cannot bank on home warranty for all your repair and replacement needs.
Home maintenance Tips – How to take better care of your sweet home
How to pursue insurance claims – How to pursue a claim when the service provider company is acting tough on your claim.
An Open Letter to Home Warranty Industry – An open letter written by someone who worked in the home warranty industry for a long time. Author provides an insightful view of the industry. The views and opinions expressed are author’s own.
There are few home warranty companies that do not charge service trade fee or “deductible”. If you are looking for such companies, please read on. Please note that we do not endorse any of these companies.
IMPORTANT: To read most recent list of companies that offer Zero dollar deductible, please visit our Home Warranty Plan Comparison section and sort the companies by Deductible (low to high)
Following are the home service contract companies that offer zero deductible as of this writing:
As a website dedicated to offering honest information about the various matters related to Home Warranty, we have collected the feedback of several appliance warranty customers in the form of reviews. Please check out our tool to find top rated home warranty companies in your area. There, you can sort through the various companies based on their premium amount, deductible amount, ratings and total reviews.
In an insurance policy, a deductible is the sum of money paid by the insured party before an insurer will pay any expenses. It is usually a fixed amount and is a part of most policies covering losses to the policy holder and must be paid by the insured before the insurance company’s own coverage plan begins.
For example, an auto insurance policy may bear a $500 deductible. If the owner of a car hits another car by mistake while parking and both drivers decide that the loss is minimal, he or she would pay the repair bill $500 out of his own pocket. Insurance companies would not support a claim for such small damages. Based on the incident, the deductible may apply per covered incident, or per year. For policies where we can’t restrict the incidences, the deductible is usually applied per year.
An insurance premium is the definite amount of money charged by insurance firms for active coverage. Cost of a premium can differ widely for the same service, which is why experts strongly suggest getting several quotes before committing to an insurance policy. Insurance brokers or agents takes basic information from people and evaluate an insurance premium estimate depending on the answers and other factors.
The lowest quoted cost on a premium may be the better deal, but the level of coverage may also be lesser. Insurance premium is mainly based on statistics, while people’s habits and history can cause the premium to be lower or higher. For example, a 22 year old male looking for car insurance for a sports car can often predict a higher insurance premium than a 45-year old woman driving a mid-size sedan. Both may perhaps have excellent working records, but the insurance company considers the younger driver in faster car to be at more risk for accidents. Thus, the premium quotes will be clearly different.
In general, a faster car will cost more to insure, just because the owners of those vehicles tend to drive faster. The amount of a deductible is typically related to the amount of premium charged by the insurers. That is, higher deductible amount are usually related with lower premium rate and vice versa. Try to find stability between reasonably priced premiums and a fair deductible when buying insurance.
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.
Ever wondered what is the difference between home warranty and homeowners insurance ? Are they not same? Let’s find answers for these questions.
While home warranty and home insurance products may come across as same, they are totally different. The coverage, cost, terms and conditions vary greatly. Home insurance is compulsory in some cases whereas home warranty is a recommended choice.
Home warranty offers protection for your major appliances, as well as plumbing and electrical units. It covers the cost of repairing or replacing major household appliances in case they break down, provided they meet the terms and conditions of the home service contract.
Home insurance covers your home in the event of damage due to natural calamity or man-made disasters and offers you liability protection from lawsuits in case of a third party involvement. If your neighbor came visiting you and accidentally fell and got injured and decides to sue you, then home insurance will take care of the claims. Home insurance is mandatory if you have a mortgage on your home.
Items covered by a home warranty may vary by company and plan, but typically includes the following items:
In case of an uncertain event like fire, theft, vandalism, or certain natural disasters, the cost of damages are covered. It also covers your personal items and gives you liability protection. Liability insurance will protect you from lawsuits in the event that someone is injured on your property. Home insurance will only insure your personal items in case they are stolen or ruined in a disaster. Repairs and replacements due to wear and tear are not covered.
The insurance policy varies depending on your state of residence and type of policy, but generally it will cover the following.
Home is the most prized and cherished possession any individual can have and nobody anticipates damages to this, therefore a home insurance provides you the following benefits when you cover your home.
A standard warranty runs $300 to $500 for a year of protection, which covers the cost of repairing or replacing a home’s major systems and appliances. Home sellers typically pick up the tab for the first year of coverage. Extended coverage plans for pools, spas and washers and dryers can be purchased at an extra cost.
Insurance cost varies from state to state and depends on the extent of coverage and the location of the property but a standard insurance can cost any homeowners insurance is between $300 and $1,000.
When you are planning to buy a home warranty, make sure that you do some research. Check our home warranty reviews section that provides pricing, comparison, quotes and consumer reviews of all major companies. When you are getting price quotes, inquire to look over a sample policy. Bear in mind to understand the entire policy, together with the fine print.
Another advantage of home warranty policy is that it is transferable. That means when you sell the house the warranty would be passed to the new owner. This has proved to be a well-liked feature amongst home buyers as homes having home warranties are selling at increased prices and in much shorter times. This in itself could make it sensible to get a home warranty policy.
When a covered appliance breaks down you need to contact your warranty company. A warranty company already has business ties with different service vendors. They will in turn contact a service repairman to come to your home and repair the appliance. The repairman will fix the item or recommend replacing it. The service repairman will bill your warranty company directly, but you have to pay a service charge when the repair person visits your home.
With any kind of insurance, it is always a good idea to shop around and evaluate benefits and prices as most insurance companies will provide you a policy discount. Ensure you read the policy before writing a check and ask any queries that you have in mind.
So, the conclusion is that home warranty and insurance are complementary to each other. You can choose to protect everything you own, provided you can afford to. Keep in mind that these insurance products do cost a bit more, but compared to the benefits they provide and the peace of mind you get, it seems like a very small amount. Insure your home as well as buy a home warranty all within your budget.
If you’re on the lookout for a home or if you are planning to sell a property, chances are you may have hired a real estate agent. Such agents are the godsend when it comes to real estate transactions as they can help you get really good deals. That said, they can also be a pain in the neck if they are not competent enough. So the question is, is your real estate agent good enough to get you that dream deal? Let’s find out.
When you hire someone to help you buy or sell a property, keep in mind that the money involved is not little by any means. You may want to look for the following qualities in a potential agent.
Although there is no foolproof way to find out if a potential agent has these qualities, the best approach would be to interview multiple agents and pick the one who reflects most of the above qualities.
If you have already hired an agent, here are few things you could check to decide whether your agent needs to be replaced or not.
You’re not ok with a part-time doctor to treat your illness, then why-oh-why would you let a part-time agent handle your real estate transactions? Most part-time agents are off their game and may fail to get you the best deal.
If the one you have right now is indeed a part-time agent, you may want to consider replacing him/her.
The typical commission charged by agents for buying/selling a house is 6%-7%, which is equally split by the buyer and the seller. Most agents refuse to sell for a commission lower than that. So if your agent agrees to a lower commission, be cautious. This does not mean that the commission is not a negotiable sum. It’s just that most good real estate agents disagree to go below the typical norm.
If your agent doesn’t return your calls or messages within two days or is, in general, a very difficult person to get through, it could be a bad sign. Competent agents are always on top of their game so they would never keep a client waiting.
This is especially true in the case of part-time agents. One way to check for experience is to ask for references. If the references span over many years, well and good or you can directly ask your agent to give you details about how many deals he has closed.
It wouldn’t have been a bad thing 10 years back, but today, not making use of resources available online to market/sell properties is a bad call. This should be one of the signs that your agent needs to be replaced.
Like in any profession, there are good ones and there are bad ones. But in this particular case, picking a bad real estate agent can cost you heavily so you may want to interview many agents before you make your final pick. If you are a seller, you should look into some ways to get your home sold faster. And if you are a buyer, you should also be aware of what to look for when you buy a new home.
Hope you enjoyed reading this. Cheers!
An offshoot of Home Warranty, Structural Warranty is a legal agreement between the builder of the home and you – the owner. Structural Warranty functions basically in the case of new homes, wherein the builder assures that the home he has built will have no structural defects for a period of ten years after its construction. His claim is covered by the company which offers him warranty coverage for the building, at times additionally including workmanship and internal systems.
The system functions just like Insurance, but covers defects which may occur due to age and wear and tear, not natural disasters or unforeseen circumstances. Like the Home Warranty covers the items in a home – its appliances, wiring and plumbing systems, interiors etc. – Structural Warranty covers elements like the foundation, girders and beams, roofing, and flooring.
Before the purchase of a home, it is advised for either the new owner, seller or realtor to purchase Home Warranty, in order to establish a relationship of trust and confidence in both parties involved. Just as a Home Warranty leaves the new owner knowing that his home and all that is in it is secure for at least a year after its purchase, Structural Warranty establishes the same sense of security in the buyer of a new home straight from a builder.
It is rather simple – all structural defects are now to be fixed by the company that the Warranty has been purchased from or by the builder offering the warranty himself, and as long as the terms and conditions are met, neither the builder nor the new owner is liable.
We see before our eyes appliances, electrical systems and plumbing leaks occur every once in awhile – but most of the time structural damage is noticeable only after it is too late. Given that large parts of the US are known to have soil that expands with seasonal changes, statistics show that more than 25% of all buildings in the country experience some kind of structural damage during the first decade of their life, almost 10% of this being major and often irreversible.
It isn’t always about how reputable the builder is, in fact, the more reliable the builder the higher the chances are of them investing in warranty for the homes they have built. Years after a deal is signed, sealed and delivered, a matter like soil expansion that is out of the hands of both the parties can spring up, making Structural Warranty the only way to guard against massive expenditure out of your own pocket in the future. Studies show that the warranty is most often claimed 4 to 7 years after a home is built to completion.
The chances of an individual investing a sum as large as the cost of a home in anything else in his or her lifetime is very slim, making this purchase one that could develop complications if not done right. Builder’s offering Structural Warranty for the home they have built can not only assure the buyer of their expertise but also give them a legal document to go back to in case frivolous lawsuits or complaints are lodged. Like in the case of any two-way agreement, responsibilities, terms, and conditions are clearly outlined.
If a third party company is used to establish a warranty, then any complaints, disputes or discussions will be handled by them – until the point of reconciliation. This saves time and discomfort for both parties involved, especially the builder.
If you happen to be a builder with larger holdings or varied properties and houses, then the value of each building is sure to increase if Structural Warranty is added to the mix. Use it as a marketing strategy, one that is true to every word and will help you build lasting relationships with your clients.
Structural Warranty functions according to the guidelines of the Housing and Urban Development department of the US, which stipulates particular criteria within which a company must cover damages. Larger builders may choose to provide their own Structural Warranty schemes to the buyer, while builders without a department to handle such claims or smaller building agencies may choose to use third-party warranty companies. Even more so than Home Warranty claims and structures, Structural Warranty coverage and insurance backing vary drastically from builder to builder and company to company. If you happen to be a part of the decision making of who to choose, make sure you do your research and pick a coverage that is extensive and appropriate to your home.
If you go through a Structural Warranty contract or guide, you will notice one important point – the extremely specific and near legal language used to describe what that particular company or builder covers. Structural Warranty owes this specificity to regulations set by the Housing and Urban Development Department of the US, as well as to the builders’ need to protect themselves from futile claims and lawsuits.
Due to each Structural Warranty being unique (much like Home Warranties state-wise laws), we will get into what the warranty covers in general. Know that this isn’t ironclad, and you have to cross check the terms and conditions with your builder.
As a whole, third-party companies offer two kinds of warranty, one which accounts for any damage to the structure of the building from the moment the deal is closed between the builder and buyer. The second stipulates that the company will only begin to cover damage to the home 3 to 4 years post the sale, implying that any structural damage before then is up to the builder to fix.
Each company usually has a base plan and other additional perks that you can choose to opt for.
The basic coverage usually covers the following:
The last of these, load bearing partitions, are often accompanied by the additional coverage of non-load bearing partitions. These claims are almost purely cosmetic, and certain Structural Warranty companies do assure the fixing of these, keeping in mind the original material integrity of the home.
Integral to any warranty and insurance difference, Structural Warranty doesn’t cover any damage due to natural disaster, accidents or unforeseen circumstances; anything that is covered under insurance, basically.
Lastly, any structures added to the original home – an extension, outhouse and detached garage space for examples – would not be covered. If the need is felt, the builder could then purchase a separate Structural Home Improvement Warranty.
Individual state laws in the US tackle Structural Warranty in different ways, making the cost different in each state as well. On an average, if the basic warranty is purchased, then it shouldn’t cost more than 1% of the purchase cost of the home. In most states which are positioned in low-risk areas (minimal soil expansion, etc.), the price is only about half a percent of the home’s price, whereas in high-risk zones the price can go up to 1.5% to 2%.
When looked at it in terms of a median example, while Structural Warranty would cost anywhere between $500 and $1500 for ten years, the repair in case of structural damage could be between $50,000 and $100,000; Structural Warranty being about one percent of the estimated repair budget.
Texas is the second largest state in America, regarding the number of people living in it. That means a great number of households that need protection and maintenance. Also, statistics concerning the trends of population evolution are pointing towards growth in the future. Soon, new residences will have to be built to accommodate the growing no. of people. In a state with so many homes, a Home Warranty should be a must. Anything can go wrong and get broken, leaving you with the inability of doing your everyday tasks. Yes, there are companies that take care of these matters, but considering the high number of households that might need their assistance, you may have to wait for a while. As an advice to homeowners, here are five of the most reliable Home Warranty companies in Texas, as of June 2015.
The most important appliances in your home, in case they malfunction and regardless of their age, will be repaired and handled by the Home Service Club. And in case your appliance cannot be repaired, their solution also foresees a replacement of the malfunctioning device. The company has an extensive network of sub-contractors, meaning that interventions at the client’s house will be done in a short time frame. Customer service is available around the clock, in any day of the week, so you can call them any time you need assistance. Besides phone calling, any customer can access their website in case they need any of the services they provide.
The company is getting great reviews from former clients. They appreciated the short period of solving the matter and the professionalism of technicians. Customers expressed their contentment and stated that company is reliable and trustworthy.
They have two available plans for their services. The Standard plan, which cover some of the most significant appliances and systems within a home. And the Comprehensive plan, which includes almost anything needed in a house, regarding devices and household appliances.
A large number of technicians and contractors who compose the American Home Shield team, are ready all the time to take care of any systems or appliances that might get broken in your home. They have built quite a reputation in their extended activity in this branch, earning thousands of satisfied customers, who got their appliances running in the shortest notice.
Customers are happy with the services received from the company, pointing out promptitude, respect and well-trained technicians on the field. Most of them did not wait longer than 24 hours to get their appliances working again, which is extremely important for every homeowner.
Regarding their plans, the company has quite a diversity. The most preferred by clients is the Combo plan, destined to take care of the majority of appliances and systems a house may have, at a very low price. They also offer a customizable Build Your Own Plan, which allows the homeowner to designate his priorities. Shield-Essential takes care of the devices that are most costly to buy and repair. Shield-Plus works the same way as the previous plan, but having a few extras. And Shield-Complete that gathers all the benefits of both of the previous plans, plus a couple of other advantages.
As the company claims, everything that comes with an outer metal case and gets plugged in, will be covered by their services. They also have a customer service available regardless of day or hours, and there are no fees for calling in each time you have a problem.
Reviews show that customers appreciate the company, some of them using their services for more than 10 years. They appreciate the availability of the customer service, the professionalism with which their issues are treated and the quality of the services.
The Complete Appliance Protection has four plans to offer to their clients. They have the Kitchen and Laundry plan and the Heating and Cooking plan, which both state what their cover in their names. They also have the Full House and Full House Plus plans, with extended covering regarding the type of appliances.
The services offered by this company regard both homeowners and real estate agents as well. They can take care of any appliance or system that refuses to work properly. Besides the traditional customer service, a client can also visit their website to find out information about plans, services or to become a member. There will also be a call fee of $65, regardless of the plan you chose.
Customers seem to be impressed by the services they receive. They appreciate the high quality of the repairs, fast solving of the matter and reliability at each call for a problem. Being there for the customers and offering the best support is the success recipe for this company.
The company offers four types of plans. Standard, Premier Plus, Value and Deluxe, each having specific coverage and price. From all these, Deluxe is the plan that offers the most coverage and solves most of your issues regarding appliances.
Repairs or replacements should never be a worry with the services provided by this company. It doesn’t matter what type of home you have or what appliance gets broken, as long as the terms mentioned in the contract are met, Select Home Warranty will repair it for you. Their network of technicians and contractors is rather large so that they can be at your place in no time.
Customers are quite happy with the services and promptitude, claiming their issues were solved in a relatively short period. Also, they mentioned that the quality of the services is also reliable. Still, there were some customers wishing for some more coverage in the company’s plans.
They have three types of plans available. Bronze Care, Gold Care and Platinum Care, and each plan has a specified coverage and a payment plan. If you wish to get maximum coverage, then you will have to opt for the Platinum care. Also, do remember that there is a service call fee for all customers, regardless of the plan.