American Home Shield Acquires Landmark Home Warranty

In a landfall move, American Home Shield (AHS), a subsidiary of ServiceMaster has acquired one of the best regional companies of the nation Landmark Home Warranty, adding some serious firepower to the American Home Shield’s arsenal by this move. The acquisition has paved way for better serviceability in the states of Arizona, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Texas, and Utah.

American Home Shield Buys Landmark Home Warranty
American Home Shield sure does know how to bend it like Beckham when it comes to the home warranty industry. AHS has created immense value for itself by creating the home warranty industry in the US and to have dominated the sphere for over 45 years. Such massive show of strength is undoubtedly the sign of proactive management, customer service and an extensive reach of contractors and their service technicians.

It can also be seen by many that such strategic moves in acquiring home warranty companies like Landmark Home Warranty, OneGuard Home Warranties, and others show the existing hunger on AHS’s part to remain the industry leader and to serve its customers in much empathetic fashion as possible. At the end, having a strong presence for American Home Shield in the market is only going to make other major players in the arena to live upto the benchmarks being set.

This is directly beneficial for the end user like you where you can expect better Customer Service, Service Timeliness, Repair Services and Overall Rating to notch up a level higher across the home warranty industry. Because of the constant endeavors of the home warranty companies to have a better market share and there is no better way to do that than making their customers & prospective customers feel happy and content!

About American Home Shield

American Home Shield started in the year 1971 by creating a disruptive way of solving problems which people faced in the cloak of appliance maintenance and frequent repairs. Since then the company has grown leaps and bounds under the business unit of ServiceMaster, approximately employing over 1,800 employees, around 11,000 independent contractors who undertake home service contracts  and a robust network of over 45,000 repair technicians who collectively aid in its smooth operational capabilities. Go to www.ahs.com to know further information!

About Landmark Home Warranty

Landmark Home Warranty founded in the year 2004, has built a definite trust factor as a comprehensive and dependable regional home warranty company from then. Which is evident from the number of positive feedback the company receives on our website. The company’s mantle is carried by over 200 employees based out of Salt Lake City, Utah. However, the same management and name of the company are going to continue the operations, coupled with expansive knowledge of American Home Shield. Please visit www.landmarkhw.com for further information.

What HomeWarrantyReviews.Com brings to the Table?

HomeWarrantyReviews.com is an independent reviews site and we have no equity interest in any of the companies listed on our site. Our objective is to ensure that we supply the public with candid reviews on businesses so they can make intelligent buying decisions.

We’ve developed free tools like the Home Maintenance Calculator to get an accurate estimation of the expenditure on home warranty policies. We’ve ranked over 80+ home warranty companies with factors including but not limited to their Complaint Resolution Program participation, positive ratings and reviews received, along with customer service as few of the ranking factors. Furthermore, detailed information on how we rank home warranty companies is accessible to each and every reader of HomeWarrantyReviews.Com






On the lookout for appliance repair costs? Fret not! We have collected the information you need. In this article we have covered the repair costs for the common household appliances.

This is just a generalized average national cost for the whole of USA. The cost will vary from state to state. If you have a Home Warranty you can save loads of cash on repairs and replacements. The chart we have here lists the costs for appliances that are fairly old (above 4 years) and normally in such cases, an appliance warranty is highly recommended.

Appliance Repair Costs

The figures displayed above was computed by taking the average of the prices from various sources including Home Advisor and HomeWyse

With the data available on sites mentioned above, we calculated the values by taking the average national repair costs. Another thing to keep in mind is that the labor charges also vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. You need to account for that as well.

May we remind you again that this is simply an estimate of the amount involved in repairs of household appliances. As mentioned before, the costs vary significantly with the state you reside in. Costs can be higher than the prices quoted here. If your appliances are over four years old, consider purchasing an appliance warranty. For assistance, you can refer to our Home warranty buyers guide.

Home Warranty To The Rescue

According to various reports, the repair/replacement cost of a single appliance is almost equal to the annual premium of a home warranty plans. On an average, a basic home warranty plan would cost somewhere around $250-$600. From the table above we can see that in some cases, repair charges alone are $250+.

Hence, on many aspects it seems wise to purchase a home warranty. These plans also have the added beauty of being convenient. No homeowner will have to go looking for a technician or carry the broken appliance to a service vendor to get it fixed.

That said, it is vital to purchase the home warranty from a reputable provider to avoid unpleasant experiences.

Maintenance tips

Wouldn’t it be much more easier if the appliances would take care of themselves? Sadly that is so not happening. Every homeowner must ensure that his/her devices are maintained well because, mind you, common warranty programs do not cover damages resulting from lack of maintenance (unless you opt for such plans.). So let’s discuss a few tips that helps maintain clean and properly functioning appliances.

Garbage disposal

That’s one place that requires quite a lot of work.  Let’s begin with what we must NOT do so that they don’t get clogged up and cause a headache

  • Never put bones, corn husks, egg shells, uncooked rice/ pasta into the garbage disposal. In short no hard, non-biodegradable substance must go into it.
  • If you have to dispose veggies and fruit peels, chop them into small pieces. Do not think that the big chunks would naturally break down in the drain. They will only clog it up leading to a rather expensive cleaning procedure.

For further assistance, read All you need to know about Garbage disposals.

HVAC

This one needs major attention because a badly maintained HVAC gadgets such as a furnace can be a source for carbon monoxide, known as the gas that causes asphyxiation (which by the way is fatal)

Moving on to the tips

  • Keep the vents and also the area around the appliances sparkling clean
  • Never let any combustible substance come near the HVAC units.
  • Units that need lubrication for smooth running must be regularly serviced by experienced technicians.
  • If your heating/cooling unit has been damaged for quite a bit of time, consider shifting elsewhere until the issue is fixed. As mentioned before damaged HVAC devices produce carbon monoxide, if you inhale that, your health will be adversely affected.

Refrigerator

  • Keep the coils clean.
  • Set the right temperature.
  • Refrigerators need “thermal stuff”. That means you should not keep it empty.
  • Be prepared for power losses. Keep the refrigerator closed if power goes off, so that some amount of coolness is retained.
  • Always close the doors properly.

Well we could go on all day discussing tips, because trust us there are quite a lot of appliances out there. For your convenience (and ours), let’s just take a look at Home Maintenance Tips for a much more detailed description. Hope you enjoyed the read, thank you!




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

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

Appliances That Need Care Before Winter Hits

Appliances That Need Care Before Winter Hits

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

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

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

HVAC

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

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

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

Smoke Detectors

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

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

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

Dryers

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

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

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

Fireplace

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

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

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

General Winterizing Advice

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

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

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

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




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

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

Do I need extended warranty?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Buying Extended WarrantySource: CBS News

Extended Warranty vs. Home Warranty

extended warranty vs home warranty

Things to keep in mind

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

  • Contract Terms and Conditions

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

  • Term of coverage

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

  • Extra charges

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

  • Comparison shopping

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

  • Credit card benefits

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

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




Gardening tips for BeginnersGardening is a pleasurable activity! Starting a new garden is truly thrilling but before you go for it, first decide where the garden should be and what you want to grow. Setting up ahead for your garden is very important as it will save time and money.

The price of everything is going up these days and you are likely for some ways to save money. A vegetable garden is a great start in doing that. A United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) study recommends that one tomato seed can grow as much as $50 worth of tomatoes!

Planning Your New Garden

plan a garden designIf your path of option to savings is a vegetable garden and you are new to gardening or have little experience, then you have come to the correct place. When you are just getting started, gardening can be scary. How do you even know where to start? Here are some basic tips that can make vegetable gardening more fun, more productive and certainly help you produce fresh veggies, fruits and herbs.

If you are all set to think about a vegetable garden, keep in mind this—it’s better to be proud of a small garden than to be bothered by a big one!

One of the frequent errors for beginners is planting too much too soon and way more than anybody could eat or want. Unless you want to have zucchini taking up residence in your attic, plan carefully. Start small. To know more about this check out Home And Garden guide.

Questions to think when planning your garden

  1. What are your needs for your home? Is your goal growing herb, chooks, fruit trees, a kitchen garden, a flower garden, a meditation or relaxation place or a kid’s place area?
  2. How many hours every week could you expend on your garden? It’s a good idea to create a garden that can be looked after in your available time.
  3. Do you know where there’s sunlight in the garden? Try to get about 6 hours of sunlight each day.
  4. Where’s the water tap positioned? Ensure it is close to your garden to make it easy to access water.
  5. If you are growing a kitchen, what fresh foods do you like? It is always a good idea to make a list.

The answers to these queries will help you with your garden planning and it’s important to know these things before you start digging in.

What to Consider as You Grow

  • Dream BIG! Take in everything that your family would like to have and mark it on your plan.
  • Start small and work in a way that you can, keeping in mind how many hours can be devoted to your garden.
  • Always reflect on the environment and make sustainable choices. Lessen the use of chemicals and non-organic fertilizers. Attempt growing organically—it’s the best for you and Mother Earth.
  • Set sensible goals. Once you have simple plan of how your garden would be and what you’d love to grow, you can begin creating your beautiful garden. That’s when the fun begins!

Gardening Ideas for Beginners

Beginning gardeners can take the chance to learn about gardening and different plants to raise. When you get pleasure from your first harvest, you will feel a sense of delight knowing that the plants you lovingly cared for produced so well. Whether you pick flower gardening or a vegetable garden, you can perfect your gardening methods year after year and get even better outcomes.

1. Learn About Plant Types

Identify the plant typeIdentify which types of plants do well in your area. Planting perennials and annuals in the same garden generate flowers during most of the year. To learn about the plants that will flourish in your area, visit local nurseries and home-improvement stores that sell them. Many of them have gardeners to assist you make the right alternatives.

2. Gardening Tools

The best tool a beginner gardener can purchase is a pair of garden gloves. This will protect your hands with painful blisters caused from the friction of the garden tool handles against your skin. Other tools you will require are a rake, hoe, shovel, hose, clippers and sprinkler. In case you are planning to have a large garden, think about a tiller or a tractor. If you don’t want to procure one, rent one or hire someone to cultivate your garden.

3. Plan Your Garden

Sketch your garden before trying to actually start it. An experienced gardener or your local nursery can help you, or do study online to help you get started. Knowing which plants or flowers attract butterflies and bees may be useful. Keep in mind that tall plants block the sun from smaller plants until they are tactically placed. Inquire about beneficial insects and herbs as a means of pest control in the garden. Know which area of your property is best suited for the types of plants you want.

4. PreparationPreparing soil

Careful preparation of soil is essential for a healthy garden. Take out all rocks from the area with a rake, and decide which nutrients are needed. Prior to planting, remove weeds and grass and fertilize with chemical fertilizer or manure. Have pine straw, wood chips or hay bales ready for mulching. Once you have ended preparing the soil, it’s planting time.

5. Planting

Don’t jump in too fast; begin with a few varieties of vegetables or flowers. Pick healthy looking plants with no traces of disease. The plants will be labeled with directions regarding water & light requirements, planting depth—follow the instructions closely. Don’t plant ahead of time in the spring to lessen the chances of losing your garden to snow or frost. Consider the size requirements of your plants.

6. WateringGarden watering

Water your garden properly. Normally, you must water the plants daily the first week, every other day for the second week, and at least once a week after that, enabling a strong toot system to be established. Be cautious not to over water.

Lastly, begin small start with plants that are easy to grow. This way you will avoid situations where the joy of your new hobby is substituted by frustration. Most prominently, relax! There will be successes and failures, but half the fun of gardening is learning as you grow!




Home Warranty vs Home builder WarrantyHow is a home builder’s warranty different from a home warranty service plan? If you are concerned about protecting your valuable investment with a home warranty policy, but are uncertain about what to select, read on to discover their unique features.

Many different real estate terms cause confusion as they sound like they are talking about the same thing, but in actuality are talking about very different things. Home warranties and home builder warranty are two of those things. They both offer safety for you and your home, but in very different ways. In fact, if a buyer has a warranty on a house, it can be a benefit in selling a home.

Home warranties are often supplied by builder. Builder warranties give peace of mind to buyers of newly constructed homes. After all, no one wants to have purchased a home riddled with defects. Sellers of existing homes may take in a warranty with the sale to push a would-be buyer into a purchase. In fact, if a buyer has a warranty on a house, it can be an advantage in selling a home since the warranty is movable.

What’s Covered?

Every homeowner seeks the same thing: peace of mind and the security of knowing that if anything hit in the night, all it will take is one phone call to have it looked after. In an ideal world, there would be one all-complete home warranty to tackle all potential worries; ranging from severe damage brought on by natural disasters to the breakdown of one your favorite household appliances. But the you do not reside in a perfect world. So you have to make a choice and wish for the best.

Two specific types of home warranty services can deal with your needs. You have choices.

The differences between the home builder warranty and the independent home warranty service will deal with two sets of criteria: the main difference is this: a home builder warranty usually provides coverage against major structural defects while the independent home warranty includes plans that cover your household appliances and systems. That said, it’s important to comprehend what that entails. The most important thing you can do ahead of making this investment is to study the terms and conditions of each and carefully understand the significance of their meaning.

Read the Fine Print!

Home Builder Warranty Vs Home WarrantyIf you go through the fine print of most home builder warranties, you will find out that the coverage under the policy is limited to providing protection against key structural defects of the “load bearing” portions of the home. “Non load-bearing” items which are excluded from the coverage include the range from HVAC, certain wall tiles and coverings, appliances, exterior finishing, some plumbing and electrical and others.

When the repair or substitution of an item under the home builder warranty is agreed, matching the repair or replacement to its prior condition will be tried, but there is no guarantee that he item will be returned to like a new condition.

On the other side of the equation is the independent home warranty service. This type of warranty permits the homeowner to select and decide what components they would like to cover, with flexible plan coverage ranging from kitchen and laundry –to home office- to electrical – to-HVAc and others. You can opt for only particular items or select a comprehensive plan that covers all, with the choice of adding individual units as add-ons.

The consumer is usually rewarded for selecting the extensive plan coverage with discounted prices and a lot of many other value-added incentives, like toll-free assistance and advice that is provided 24/7/365. Another trait of the independent home warranty service is found with the service providers who promise like-kind or better replacement. Joining in a plan that makes that promise is recommended.

Keeping Out from Coverage

Taking no blunt approach to upholding your home can prevent lot of problem later on down the road that can charge a bundle. One reason why various home warranty service providers have to include exclusions from coverage into their conditions is to avoid repairing items that wouldn’t be in need of repair if they had been cared for. Fair enough, it is suggested, however, that you carefully take note of any other exclusion from coverage as detailed in the terms and conditions of your warranty policy.

The standard home builder warranty will incorporate a wide listing of exclusions from coverage, far-surpassing the case of owner neglect, which may comprise some of the following conditions:

  1. Water damage, leaking roofs and some plumbing
  2. Recreational facilities, pools, saunas
  3. Home improvements made after the Start date
  4. Any loss or damage not acted on in a timely fashion
  5. Drainage deficiencies not affecting the ‘structural integrity’ of the home
  6. Insect infestation
  7. Oversights on the part of the builder or his agents and subcontractors
  8. All work not completed by the builder
  9. Normal wear and tear
  10. Any defects resulting from natural disaster or accidents
  11. Dampness or condensation resulting from neglecting ventilation maintenance
  12. Any defects caused or aggravated by owner, occupants or guests
  13. Property damage or bodily injury resulting from structural flaws; including plumbing, heating and cooling
  14. Incidental costs acquired by owner vacating premises due to unsafe/unlivable conditions during the time of repair
  15. Chemical contamination from work done at time of construction

With the set home warranty service plan, the list of exclusions from coverage is much smaller – covering the basics, such things as insect infestation, neglect or improper maintenance of appliances and improper set up of appliances and household appliances.

Filing Claims

Reputable home warranty services are intended to provide convenience and reduce the hassle of filing a claim. Ordinarily, there will be a number to call in order to send out specialized trade service expert to your home to come assess and take care of the damage in one shot.

Filing a claim with a home builder warranty provider can offer some interesting predicaments. When filing a claim, the best thing is to proceed with caution. Expect an inspector or multiple inspectors to show up at your home in order to investigate your claim. The more articles you can present as proof of the problem, the better off you will be. These can take in reports, diagrams, reports and photos. When the determination is made for the homeowner, he/she is anticipated to sign a release giving up all rights.

Study the Arbitration Provision of your Home Builder Warranty

If your claim is denied and you cannot resolve it through the dispute resolution process with the home builder warranty providers, you may be asked to sign an arbitration provision. By doing this, you will be waiving your rights to a trial in a court of law and you may have to present your claim to an arbitration company from the home builder warranty provider’s list of listed arbitration companies.

Also, take note of the fact that many of these providers accept reports only from a list of approved construction consultants – encompassing contractors, inspection firms and others.

The Bottom Line

In total, as painful as it can be to read through the fine print of a warranty policy, it is the best way to go about picking the warranty provider who is going to deliver what is promised – and it is the most helpful way to choose either a home builder warranty or an independent home warranty service.

Preserve the quality and craftsmanship of your home and all the adored items within today and it’ll make a world of difference in your world tomorrow!




When you imagine of the four seasons, certain images instantly come to mind. For summer, its swimming pools, lawnmowers and barbecue grills. For fall, its turkeys, footballs and pumpkins. Winter is snowmen, stockings and hot chocolate. And spring? How about mop, brushes and buckets? Though the season is a sign of new birth, it’s also the time when most people take the instance to clean up.

Spring

Spring House Maintenance For You!

Once spring has sprung, take some time to give your home a check-up along with its annual spring cleaning. Adding up some home maintenance tips to your schedule can assist your house function more proficiently. Precautionary maintenance is vital to the value of your abode. Keep your place in best shape with usual check-ups to put aside the headache and cost of emergency repairs.

Like many of us, homes require a tune up after the long winter months. Everything right from the roof to the sump pump requires an once-over after the season has taken its toll. For centuries, spring has been the cleaning time of year. In America, the thought of spring cleaning has become a custom for very sensible reasons. The cold and darkness that captured you in your house all winter grow fainter and are substituted longer days and warmer weather.

With much work to do, the job might appear overwhelming. The trick is to get organized. Prepare detailed lists of each set of tasks, possibly divided by room. After that, schedule one at a time, collect your tools, and get to it. Don’t allow the sum threaten you from beginning the parts.

Spring Home Maintenance Checklist

To help you protect your most priceless asset —your home—check with these potential issues and find out how to fix them. To make things easier, download our home maintenance checklist that covers all four seasons.

Foundation, Masonry & Exterior Surfaces

  • Test out chimney for loose, deteriorated or missing mortar. Mend problems.
  • Verify floors, concrete, floors and masonry for cracking, deterioration or jam packed. Repair problems.
  • Check for the patio, deck, porch and railings and external stairs for any damage. Fix now or this summer.
  • Take away debris from downspouts and gutters. Make sure you repair the leaks.
  • Check grading for proper slope away from foundation walls. Build up soil wherever required.
  • Ensure all wood surfaces-particularly at the soil level for peeling paint, dry not and weathering. Fix now or this summer.

Roof

  • Verify for open closures, bald areas or blisters on flat roofs. Get these fixed.
  • Test out flashing around sidewalls and surface projections.
  • Check antenna wires for possible leak sources.
  • Check for any loose, missing or damaged shingles. Have these substituted.
  • Check roof louvers for plugging or damage such as bird nests.
  • Check front and soffits for damage and deterioration.
  • If ice dams were a difficulty last winter, have your garret property ventilated and insulated.

Interior

  • Check crawlspace and basement for leaking water or moisture. Pay attention to all moisture problems.
  • Replace or repair broken windows or torn screens. Substitute broken sash ropes or hold-open devices.
  • Open vents crawl spaces in basements and open vents in crawl space.
  • Check your smoke detector when you alter clocks in advance.
  • Check your home’s cooling system before summer arrives.
  • Take notice of slow drains or back-ups. If required, clean your drain pipes before a really big back-up occurs.
  • Once windows can be opened, do varnishing, interior painting or other projects where smell can be a problem.

Lawn & Landscape

  • Spring is planting time of year, and a big time to clean up the yard from the winter.
  • Plant shrubs, trees, vegetables or flowers.
  • If required, apply pre-emergent weed preventer. Fertilize lawn, if wanted.
  • Plant grass seed in bare patches.
  • Take away left-over fallen leaves, lawn debris and dead plants. Trim bushes that brush against the house.
  • Unless trees are damaged by storm, postpone tree trimming until autumn or winter when it’s better to trim trees.

Consult this comprehensive checklist for undoing winter’s damage to your home. Take care for these issues every year and your home will express thanks to you. Make sure you pay attention to other important things in your life such as reviewing your financial needs this year, ensuring you have adequate insurance coverage, health coverage etc.




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

Life Insurance Policy

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

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

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

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

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

Types of Life Insurance

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

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

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

 

Term Life Insurance Policy

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

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

Types of Term Life Insurance

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

 

Permanent Life Insurance Policy

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

Types of Permanent Life Insurance

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

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




Claim denial is an incident in which a home warranty company rejects a customer’s request for repair service. Sometimes customer claims are legit and fully entitled to receive services stated as per the contract. Claim denials are considered to be a major reason behind spats between service contract companies and the customer.

While some claims are denied for genuine reasons, some customers argue that companies deny claims on vague grounds often stating fine print from the contract. Yet, there are also cases where the companies were falsely accused of unfair claim denial solely because the customer failed to understand the terms mentioned in the home service contract.

What we need to understand is that not all companies deny claims unfairly because doing so will severely damage their reputation. So unless there is a valid reason, reputable companies will not deny a customer’s claims randomly.

Let’s take a look at some common reasons for claim denials

1. Appliance is not covered

This is often the most common reason for denying a claim. Most service contracts only cover a fixed set of appliances and not everything in your house. If your home service contract provider gives you this reason, go check your contract and make sure that the appliance is indeed not covered. In case you find that it is a covered item, place further calls to the company and let them know that the as per the contract, the item is covered.

Home Warranty Claim Denials2. Appliance is not maintained properly

No home service contract covers an appliance that has become damaged due to lack of maintenance. Regular wear and tear is not caused due to insufficient maintenance. It is the result of prolonged, proper usage. It is the homeowner’s duty to carry out regular maintenance routines, especially for HVAC appliances. However, if you believe that the damage is not caused due to insufficient maintenance, tell the company that you need to get a second opinion from a different contractor.

3. The damage is pre-existing

Home service contract providers often tell the customer that the damage was one that existed even before the contract was signed and hence it will not be covered. There’s hardly anything you can do about such a denial. However, you can avoid chances for such disputes by making sure that you get a home inspection done prior to signing the contract. That way the home inspector’s report will clearly state about what appliance has what damage. If it is not in the report and if the item is covered, you may be entitled to a repair service.

4. Unusual wear and tear

Wear and tear due to regular usage and wear and tear due to rough handling and careless usage can be distinguished quite easily. If the damage was caused due to the latter kind of wear and tear, your claim stands a chance to be denied. In this scenario too, you can ask for a another contractor to get a second opinion if you disagree on the diagnosis.

5. Code Violations and improper installation

If the appliance was not properly installed and if it violates the codes laid down for safe use and installation, chances are high that your claim may be denied.

What should a customer do when claims are denied?

It goes without saying that the policy booklet, the contract and the inspection report, if any, must be preserved carefully. The moment you realise that your claim has been denied, go through your contract and policy document to make sure that the claim is denied purely based on the terms in the contract. If you have a home inspection report go through that too. If you feel that your claim has been unjustly denied, you can call the home service contract company again and press the issue.

You can also visit review websites and post a review about your experience. HomeWarrantyReviews.com has a feature called the Complaint Resolution Program (CRP) which is a platform for companies and their customers to resolve their issues. The customer merely needs to report his negative experience with HomeWarrantyReviews.com, following this, he will be asked if wants to take part is CRP. If he/she chooses to participate in it, the company will be notified about his/her grievance and will be given 30 days to respond/ sort it out. If the company fails to respond or resolve the issue, the customer’s negative review becomes public. Some review websites allows their users to resolve the issues with the contract provider by communicating with them through a specific platform. The advantage of this system is that if the home service provider fails to resolve the issue for the customer or fail to respond within a time frame, the review becomes public, thereby affecting the rating and reputation of the company. Most companies do not want that.

Whatever the reason could be, we request customers to make things clear before they react to a claim denial. It could be that the company is not at fault here and because of a misunderstanding, their name gets tarnished. Most of the unpleasant scenarios can be avoided if the company you pick is reputable. Hence we cannot stress enough on the importance of picking the right company, a good home service contract provider will always put the interests of the customer first. Remember, good communication is often the solution to the biggest of problems.




United Services Automobile Association (USAA) began in 1922 with 25 Army officers who offered to cover each other’s vehicles when no one else would. Today, their tiny organization has grown into a respected institution offering a full range of financial products to millions of members.

USAAUSAA is committed to the financial well being of members of the military and their families for generations to come. That’s why it offers a variety of financial products and excellent services to assist its members attain their financial goals and plan for the future.

Home Warranties USAA

A few years ago USAA also offered home warranty backed by reputable partners but currently they don’t seem to offer it anymore.

When you procure a home, there is a very good chance that you will be offered a home warranty that aids cover the cost of repairs for a period of time after you have purchased it.

A home warranty is essentially an insurance policy that insures the electrical, plumbing and mechanical systems of a house. A home warranty offers the same comfort as any insurance against unforeseeable events.

Here’s what you need to keep in mind to make the most of the safety it provides.

New Home Warranties

If you are purchasing a newly built home, your builder will probably offer a warranty covering defects in workmanship and materials. The period of this coverage differs, but it’s generally not less than a year.

To stay away from unpleasant surprises, read your entire warranty booklet before closing on the contract. Ensure you understand the various exclusions and conditions. New home warranties usually don’t cover electronics, appliances and similar fixtures set up in the home, as those products are generally covered by manufacturer’s warranties. Confirm that you obtain the home owner’s guidebook and warranty information kit that comes with each of them.

Warranties on Existing Homes

Sellers of existing homes frequently purchase warranties to increase the appeal of their property to buyers. Towards the end of their terms, these warranties can usually be extended at the homeowner’s expense, often for $250 to $600 per year.

Study the warranty carefully as it is only as good as its terms. You may discover some limitations that can lessen the initial appeal. For instance, plumbing problems ahead of home’s foundation may be not included, which means many of the most common and destructive headaches will be your liability.

When you name for service, the warranty provider naturally sends off a local service company to remedy the situation. As they wish to pay out as little as necessary, be prepared for warranty providers to favor less expensive repairs over complete replacement.  And have your checkbook useful— even when the repair is covered, warranties characteristically need homeowners to pay a service fee for each repair maybe $25 to $75.

Receiving What’s Due

Like any other type of insurance, the rank of claims service linked with home warranties differs from company to company. If you require service, be ready to rise above obstacles. If the warranty company notifies you that your claim isn’t covered, ask them to quote a specific channel in the warranty document.

Note cautiously when your warranty expires. A few weeks before it does, give your home a thorough basement-to-roof evaluation to see if there are any covered problems that can still be fixed at the home warranty company’s expenditure.

The Value of USAA Membership

USAA membership is a benefit extended to those who have served in the U.S military and their families.

USAA provides life, home and car insurance, banking services, and independent financial advice from licensed financial planners. It also provides a buying service for diamonds and other jewelry, which will save you some funds if you are in the market of those things.

USAA Insurance

USAA Insurance provides one of the best values and their claims service is exceptional. The policy premiums are competitively priced and the coverage is better than anywhere else.

USAA provides a range of personal property and casualty (P&C) insurance, including automobile insurance, homeowner insurance, renters insurance, valuable personal property insurance, and umbrella insurance. Other than P&C insurance, USAA offers term life insurance, whole life insurance and annuities. USAA’s life insurance policies, while not completely unique in the industry, are different from most offerings since they do not include a war-exclusion clause.

USAA Banking Services

USAA banking services also save you a bundle and offer you more convenience. It operates limited-service financial centers in other cities, normally near military bases, which provide assistance and advice in obtaining services and opening accounts online. These limited service locations cannot process deposits or withdrawals, but ATM’s located on site do permit customers to make financial transactions.

Investing and Financial Planning

USAA offers a restricted discount brokerage service and a family of no-load mutual funds. Mutual funds established by other firms can also be bought and held in USAA investing accounts. USAA also provides limited independent financial planning advice, as well as a more systematic flat-free or hourly-rate financial planning service.

Other Business

Through its Alliance Services Company (ASC), USAA runs a mail-order catalog service focusing in the sale of diamonds and jewelry.

Besides, the ASC secures a variety of discounted services for members. These include travel-related services through rental car alliances with Avis Budget Group and Hertz Corporation, as well as discounts on cruise travel. Their retail alliances also comprise partnerships with FTD, FedEx, and ADT Security Services.




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

Contractor looking for job

Why Work With A Home Warranty Company?

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

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

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

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

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

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

How To Work With A Home Warranty Company?

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

Some of these leading Home Warranty Companies include,

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

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

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


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

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

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

What To Remember Before Becoming A Service Contractor?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Recommended Articles




Undoubtedly, consideration of best home warranty is the first step towards feeling confident about your purchase on
safeguarding your appliance.
Many things contribute to a great service experience.When insured and covered appliance breaks down or any item needs to be repaired, then a home warranty contractor comes into the picture to provide the best service.
These home warranty contractors have pre-arranged agreements with home warranty companies to provide the services.Home Warranty Contractor

What is Home Warranty Plan?

Home warranty is a service contract which promises to repair or replace your appliances once a contract is made and certain amount is paid. It is a protection plan for all your aging appliances  provided they meet the pre existing conditions specified in the contract.

Home Warranty Coverage

Home Warranty coverage policy covers all major appliances like heating, air conditioning, plumbing, electrical, kitchen appliances or any other expensive units. Either seller, real estate agent would buy the warranty and provide it as additional benefit or the home owner alone can purchase the warranty which is worth having.

If you are not sure what kind of coverage you want, check out the article – how to choose a home warranty protection plan

What is not covered?

Generally speaking outdoor items such as sprinklers, faucet repairs are not covered under all plans check with it, not all plans pay for refrigerators, washers & dryers or garage door openers, spa or pools unless specific coverage requested.

Denial of Coverage

Contractors are required to get the approval of the warranty company before carrying out the repair work. Sometimes the home warranty company may decide to deny the coverage due to pre-existing conditions clause or due to maintenance negligence reasons.

You have rights to negotiate the coverage, but sometimes small print clauses in the contract puts you in difficult situations. Hence you need to be aware of what your home warranty should cover and also very important to know what is excluded or not covered under the policy.

Causes of denial of Coverage

Your claim may be denied if the insurer determines that you have not maintained your home properly. Improper installation, code violation or any unusual pattern of wear and tear may lead to rejection of  your claim.

Procedure for Contacting Contractor

To get contractor assistance for service, you need to contact the warranty company to arrange for a service call. Once it is processed, service team will arrange one of the contractors on their list and ask them to contact you and schedule a convenient time to come and resolve the issue which involves a service charge.

If the service provider is unable to fix the problem, then it is Warranty Company’s duty to replace the item. Replacing the item normally depends on the coverage plan of the policy.

In case of dispute with contractor

Communicate with your home appliance warranty company in case of any dispute with the contractor. Home warranty contractors are being paid by the insurance company and work as per their instruction. Hence check with the contract policy terms and conditions.

Note the name of the person you spoke with, the date and a summary of what was discussed. Your notes should include the date and time of the communication, whom you spoke with, and your understanding of what was discussed regarding the denial of your claim which will help you in future correspondence and quick resolution of the issue.

Denial of Contractor Payment

In some rare cases, home warranty companies do not pay their dues to contractors. While reputable companies always honor their commitment, there are some shady companies that operate in the grey area. In such cases, contractors may approach the homeowner for payment. As your contract is with the home warranty company, you are not obligated to pay the contractor. However, make sure you do not sign any agreements with the contractors to cover such payments.

 




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

Insurance Landlord needs

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

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

Essential Insurance for Landlords

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

Get a Home Warranty

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

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

Landlord House Insurance

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

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

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

Landlords Contents Insurance

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

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

Umbrella Insurance Policy

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

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

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

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

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

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




Most homeowners are quite concerned about maintaining their household appliances in good working condition. Any homeowner worth his salt will admit that it is no easy task. Hence it calls for some expertise in the form of appliance maintenance plans. What confuses homeowners is the fact that there are so many appliance maintenance plans out there and they end up wondering which ones to sign up for!

Here’s an article that’ll help you decide what plans you need to buy to ensure smooth running of your household appliances, while going easy on the pocket too.

HVAC Maintenance Plan

Plumber at Work

There are quite a few things you need to consider before you decide whether or not you need an appliance maintenance plan.

  1. Age of your appliances: If your appliances are 4+ yrs old, you may need a maintenance plan.
  2. Availability of a trusted contractor: If you don’t have a contractor you can rely upon, it is highly recommended that you purchase a home protection plan.
  3. Sufficient funds for frequent repairs and replacements: Repairs and replacements are expensive to get done. Makes more sense to buy protections plans, right?
  4. Time and skill for DIY repairs: Unless you are a contractor yourself, it is advised that you seek professional help in case an appliance crashes.

In short, folks who have old appliances, lack DIY repair skills and sufficient money and do not have a trusted contractor should purchase some form of protection for their household appliances.

What plan do I purchase?

Let’s make this easier for you. An HVAC maintenance plan covers only heating, ventilation and cooling units. A basic home warranty plan covers all the major systems and appliances in the home which includes HVAC units and other appliances too. In simple terms, the coverage is often more for home warranty contracts.

Let’s take a look at some of the common advantages

  1. Budget protection
  2. Service from qualified and skilled professionals
  3. Increases value of property at the time of sale
  4. Peace of mind.

Now let’s take a look at the advantages separately

Advantage of HVAC maintenance plans:

  • Often includes annual/ half-yearly maintenance routines.
  • Discount on labor and parts
  • May help lower electricity bills

Advantages of Home Warranty plans:

  • Wider coverage. Protects more than just HVAC units. Coverage can be extended as per homeowner’s wish
  • Covers damage that occurs due to regular wear and tear and sometimes even due to lack of maintenance. This does not apply to HVAC maintenance plans.
  • Affordable and transferrable
  • Increases the value of property at the time of sale

Who needs an HVAC maintenance plan?

  • Homeowners who have no time for repairing and maintaining their HVAC units themselves
  • People who don’t have the budget to carry out regular maintenance routines
  • People whose other appliances and systems are reasonably new and well-maintained
  • Folks who require budget protection

The U.S Dept. of Energy advises having your HVAC systems checked at least twice a year. This could be expensive for some.

Who needs a Home Warranty?

Homeowners whose homes are aged should definitely think about purchasing a home warranty plan. It covers more than just your HVAC units. Ideally, following are the types of homeowners who need a home service contract:

  • Homeowners whose homes and the components in it are 4+ yrs old
  • People who lack time and skill for DIY repairs
  • People who lack sufficient funds for costly repairs and replacement services
  • Folks who are first time homeowners

Still undecided?

Although most home warranty plans include coverage for HVAC units, the services are not as extensive as provided by an HVAC plan built specifically with heating and cooling needs in mind. If you feel that you are okay with basic coverage, then it would make more sense to go for a home warranty as your other appliances get protection too. Another option (safer one) is to buy a home warranty plan that covers on general household appliances and electrical systems and then to top it up with an HVAC plan. It may cost a little more than just a single plan, but it will be useful in the long run.

Yet another vital thing to do is to get your HVAC appliances get checked by a professional at least once a year. Regular maintenance checks are often helpful in diagnosing problems at an early state. Hence, no matter what the age or the make is, annual maintenance checks are a must for every HVAC appliance/system.

You can also read about Home Maintenance Tips on our website. We host several articles that explain the maintenance regimes for various household appliances and systems.

Remember, no matter how much thought you give into deciding a plan, if you don’t take the same effort for picking a reputable company, it may disappoint you. Always, we repeat, always select a trusted warranty provider and do sufficient research before you sign the contract. You can visit websites like ours, HomeWarrantyReviews.com, to see reviews and ratings about various warranty providers. Our website provide readers with reviews from genuine customers who are more than willing to share their experiences with others.




There was a news report covered by HomeWarrantyWiz.com regarding recent developments with regard to fake Internet testimonials, company reviews, and ratings being detected and penalized by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).  HomeWarrantyReviews.com was involved with the research behind this article, particularly by sharing our experiences with home warranty companies that have attempted to use our ratings system to post fictitious consumer reviews.

Fake Reviews

Home warranty is a highly complex product and many consumers rely greatly on the information they find on the Internet in order to choose a home warranty company.  Fake Internet reviews make finding accurate information about companies more challenging and can sometimes lead consumers to making misinformed decisions.

The recent FTC fine levied on an advertiser outside the home warranty industry for advertising that involved fake reviews posted online is a good sign for home warranty customers and for all consumers who use the Internet to shop and research products or services.  Websites like ours which are actively monitoring the reviews posted on them are an additional resource aside from the FTC and state attorneys, working in the consumer’s corner.

Penalizing Companies Posting Fake Reviews

There have been instances where we have blacklisted companies for repeatedly posting fake positive reviews. Some companies employed some sort of advanced techniques to make the review look legitimate. But we have built a  sophisticated rating system over the years and will catch any attempt to manipulate the reviews. On top of that we have a team of experienced staff members who make sure the review passes through their litmus test. So, if you are company that relies on such tactics, take a note!

Ensuring that fake reviews and ratings are caught and removed and that the offending parties are warned is just one way in which reviews sites can police reviews and ratings and keep them as accurate as possible.  Consumers also have a responsibility as well. Consumers must be diligent to make their reviews as factual as possible in order to make the fake reviews easier to spot.  Detailed reviews stand apart from general ones and often fake reviews give only the most basic details, focusing more on glowing compliments about the service or product.  Leaving emotion out of reviews is also important because the same companies that post fake reviews or attempt to deflect blame whenever customers post highly emotional testimonials.  Ultimately the task of spotting fake reviews falls greatly upon the consumer’s shoulders but now that the FTC has thrown its hat into the ring things will be much more complicated and risky for companies that prefer false advertising over legitimate customer testimonials.




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

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

Difference Between Home Insurance And Home Warranty

difference between home warranty and homeowners insurance

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

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

What Does A Home Warranty Contract Cover?

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

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

Benefits Of Home Warranty Coverage

To The Homeowner

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

To The Seller

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

To The Buyer

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

Home Insurance

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

What Does A Home Insurance Policy Cover?

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

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

Benefits Of Home Insurance

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

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

Cost/Pricing For Both

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

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

How To Choose A Home Warranty?

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

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

How To Make A Claim?

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

How To Choose Home Insurance?

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

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

 




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.

Home Warranty Dummies

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Coverage

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!

How Does Home Warranty Plan Work?

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.

Claims

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

  • Insufficient maintenance
  • Improper installation
  • Code violations
  • Unusual wear and tear

Don’t worry too much about it. If you choose a reputable company, chances are low that your claims will be unjustly denied.

Premium and Deductible

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!




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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Ellen Terry

Best-Agent-in-Dallas

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Rene Burchell

Top-Agent-in-Dallas

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

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

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

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

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

 

Dani Hanna

Expert-Agent-in-Dallas

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

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

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

 

Debbie Murray

Super-Agent-in-Dallas

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Laura Michelle

Awesome-Agent-in-Dallas

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

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

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

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

 

Tom Rhodes Jr.

Best-in-class-Agent-in-Dallas

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

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

 

Bill Shields

Experienced-Agent-in-Dallas

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

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

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

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




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

Top tips for Structural Warranty for Newly constructed homes

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

What is Structural Warranty?

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

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

Is Structural Warranty Necessary for me as a Buyer?

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

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

The Builder’s Perspective

Settling Terms of the Deal

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

A Middleman

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

Value of the Home

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

How Structural Warranty Works

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

What Structural Warranty Covers

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

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

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

The basic coverage usually covers the following:

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

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

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

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

The Cost

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

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




Here’s a write up about top home warranty companies in New Jersey. Now all you need to do is scroll through the list of companies, visit our site for a free quote and user reviews to pick your home warranty! We guarantee you that you’ll find that it is very useful!

Home Warranty Companies In New Jersey

Located in the Northeastern and Middle Atlantic regions of U.S.A, New Jersey is indeed a popular state. Fondly called as the Garden State of America, NJ has much to offer for its residents. No matter where in New Jersey you are, if you are a homeowner, your primary concern would be caring for your family and your home. Like most homeowners, it’s natural that you’ll worry about the expenses of repairing unexpected damages and replacements of your household appliances.

So here’s our list of top home warranty companies in NJ based on user reviews and ratings-

These companies have been around for several years and are on this list because of the feedback they have received on our site from their customers. Take a detailed look at each one of ‘em!

1. American Home Shield

American Home Shield or AHS as it’s commonly called, is a company that founded the home warranty industry. Naturally, this is a company with unparalleled experience and a nationwide footprint. AHS also has a massive contractor network where every single technician is selected after a stringent screening process.

AHs offers plans that are designed to suit the needs of homeowners, Realtors, buyers and sellers alike. Their plans are reasonably priced and standard plans start from as low as $250 every year. The company also has an online claims facility and a customer service facility that runs around the clock.

2. Home Service Club

Yet another popular home warranty company in NJ is the Home Service Club (HSC). This too is yet another company with nationwide footprint and with coverage in over 48 states. HSC too screens each technician in their contractor network and follow up with the customers to ensure that they are satisfied with the services.

HSC’s plans start from $400 annually and the deductibles are charged between $65 to $125. Warranty purchases can be made through their website which also has the facilities to allow homeowners track their account. Online claims can be made just as easily as claims can be made with their round the clock customer care service.

3. Select Home Warranty

Headquartered in NJ, Select Home Warranty is one company which has plans to cover anything from rental properties to mobile homes and condo units. They have three main warranty plans which vary in the extend of coverage and comes at affordable prices. This is one company that does not place an age restriction on the house or mandate a home inspection prior to purchasing a plan.

Select Home Warranty’s plans start at $299 annually and the average deductible is charged at $45 per service visit. Customers can purchase plans through their website and even place claims online to schedule to a repair.

4. HSA Home Warranty

This is a company with close to 30 years experience in selling warranty products. Like the others on this list, HSA too offers competitive plans at compelling prices to its customers. More than just home warranty plans, the company also has a host of other services and even a newsletter for homeowners, sellers, buyers and real estate agents.

Annual premium for plans sold by HSA range between $589 – $619. The deductible varies depending on the kind of plan you chose but is usually between $50 – $100. HSA too has a 24/7 claims facility and also the facility to place claims through their website.

5. Choice Home Warranty

Choice Home Warranty is a popular choice among NJ homeowners owing to their comprehensive warranty plans and affordable pricing policies. With policies that will add to the value of your home, CHW has managed to garner a lot of positive feedback from their customers.

Standard plans are available at premiums ranging from $370 – $450. Deductibles are charged starting at $60. CHW too has an online claims facility and has a massive network of skilled, licensed and experienced technicians ready to be dispatched when claims come in.

The Bottom Line

This list has been prepared based on actual user reviews submitted on our site. Therefore, there is a good chance that we may have missed out on an awesome company due to insufficient reviews. We welcome inputs from readers based in NJ to know more about companies there. Do let us know what you think. Also, you can take a look at top home warranty companies in various states across U.S.A. Cheers!