This is an Article published for the Benefit of Homeowners reading our Articles regularly so that one can walk the path of sustainable energy!
There’s no denying that the onset of new, improved and environment-friendly trends is putting a damper on companies that have been functioning for centuries without much regard for the environment. Having to reestablish their production methods, use of materials and waste disposal strategies, manufacturing units being shut down as alterations are not viable to their manufacturing and market costs. The drive towards a green economy is constantly being resisted by a large section of multinational companies around the world.
Besides alterations in production strategies, the other game changer has been utility companies and their slow but hopefully steady replacement with solar and green energy demands from consumers. As the demand for solar energy in residences begins to increase, the traditional utility industry will take a hit not only in its retails sales and day to day transactions but also in terms of an overall loss of customer base. Eventually, the industry could even become obsolete, but that’s a discussion for later.
The main trade association and executives of the utility industry have seen the onset of this impending threat, and have been calling for meetings and conferences. Using these to reach out to the electricity providers for support, utility companies have been playing a part in keeping door-to-door solar power insurgency at bay.
Electric and fossil fuel monopolies are right to feel the threat though, as even the individual state governments and metering laws are creating rules and instructional loopholes to encourage home solar paneling. States such as Wisconsin and Arizona, amongst others, have imposed net metering as a system of electricity billing. Through net metering, a customer who is using solar energy at home gains monthly credit for the surplus power that they produce and provide to the electricity grid of that region. Even though a small amount is to be paid additionally if net metering is voted in your state, know that your electricity bill as a solar energy consumer will be considerably lowered; enough to offset the cost of installing solar panels at the first place– hiking prices. Though it may seem that the shift is absolute, even solar energy consumers are relying on the run of the mill electricity grid during overcast winters and nighttime. A marginal reduction in daily usage is not causing any cuts in maintenance, investment capital for transmission lines, and upkeep of the grid.
The debate of Solar Vs Utility still remains as two sides of a coin, with solar having on its side the bigger picture of a future green economy. Studies being conducted in individual states are most often steering towards the advent of solar as a domestic energy source causing harm to the economic balance, with an immediate counter response from environmental lobbyists. The claim is straightforward – the clean energy lobby argues that the traditional and fossil fuel powers are rigging the results and focusing on only negatives. Louisiana is one such state, where studies showed a transferal of over two million dollars to be shouldered by non-solar consumers due to the utility sales drop.
On a positive note that looks at aspects besides those that are environmental, research in states such a Mississippi and Nevada see solar as the way to go. From being able to bear the brunt of excess demand during summer months, produce almost twice as many jobs and be in tandem with the greenhouse emission laws, solar comes out the winner. The whopping two million that are being employed are also seen to have working conditions far better than the coal miners.
The problem when it comes to the utility industry’s sustenance is twofold. The first is to address the price hike which is inevitable when the demand drops, not to mention the possible compensation for individuals who are using solar to reduce the stress on the electrical grids.
The second is how utility power hubs will re-align their structure to accommodate for this shift, and think of ways to meet the clean energy drive halfway. Unfortunately, there is no way to tackle the second without fixing the war that is being fought over the first.
The majority of traditional electricity power plants that cater to individual households and residential areas in the US are investor owned. These have a much greater role to play when it comes to vetoing the solar power takeover. Investor-owned power plants function in four simple steps. First, they get an estimate of the power demand of a given area and consequently calculate the monetary estimate required to fulfill the quota. This money is then looked at from the separate perspectives of the consumer and the investor. The rate per unit of electricity is calculated, looking at not only the demand of the consumer but at the incentive for investors to look their way by offering them a favorable return rate.
This system is foolproof, until the point that they are faced with a competitor – solar power. Solar energy users continue to use the grid that has been set up, as well as the utilities other services. This is where the true problem lies – even the basal costs of the utility sector are now being borne by those that are opting for traditional sources. Net metering is allowing solar power users to practically zero out their bills if they meet their own monthly requirement for electricity, a law that utility companies are fighting in states such as Texas and California, focusing on its lack of sustainability.
While the arguments utility companies pose do have their credibility theoretically, in the real world it is rather clear that the incentive is still driven by their fear of revenue drops. When the investment for electrical systems shifts from the hands of shareholders to individual households, the concept of rates in terms of return to the investor is moot.
Customers who once had no option but to rely on Investor-Owned Utility companies now have the option of taking their domestic electrical needs into their own hands. Naturally, this lack of dependency translates into a very direct drop in utility companies yearly profits.
When a utility company complaints about the potential rate increase for the traditional energy source users, and fixates their argument on the fact that solar users do not pay for servicing and maintenance, a new argument is thrown into the mix. Is the demand that the utility companies are projecting really accurate anymore?
Solar lobbies state that the rate of maintenance, expansion and employee increase that utility companies are projecting is unrealistic. The fact is, widespread use of green energy resources will only reduce the load on the electrical grid, hence reducing the need for regular fixing. Utility grids are not taking this into account, instead of using an inflated demand rate to rope in a greater number of investors, and possibly hiking rates of monthly unit usage in order to meet their return rate.
The other statement of fact that solar advocates are backing is the fact that a utility-based electrical grid system never produces solely based on demand, hence pointing to the fact that the rate of electrical units is not actual anyhow. Experts say that if rooftop solar panels were distributed and installed, then just the reduce in demand would handle issues related to loading increase and be a much better management of resources for all involved.
All said and done, though the Solar versus Utility debate has its subjective points of view, not to mention numerous pros and cons on either side, the reality remains the same. The need for green energy is a necessity for sustenance on a global scale, and yet the twenty-first century is straddled between the traditional resources and those that are now deemed clean.
A time of transition in all ways possible, certain existential questions cannot be ignored. How are the economically backward supposed to sustain if traditional power grids cease to function stably? Alternatively, if solar resources are negated and shut down then will the global economy, fossil fuel depletion and environment be really able to survive?
Though the deliberation is on, individual states are beginning to look for solutions that will tackle both sides, sustainably. Vermont, California and even New York are beginning to approach the utility sector as a large power bank of service, instead of just a source of electricity. This may alter the relationship between solar grids and utility grids, allowing them to cross paths without having to lose either form of resource.
States like Arizona are proof that the present model of a utility power structure is not functional anymore, and they are bound to see a decline in revenue and balanced functionality if they continue to look at solar distribution as the villain. There is a theory that the only way to force the utility companies and government’s hand to address the reality of the issue is to block out subsidies, asking the question of how sustainable and affordable power can be distributed in such a situation.
Most homeowners agree on the fact that older homes need some kind of home warranty protection. While this fact couldn’t be more, most folks are unaware about which appliances to include under coverage. For those who can’t afford to purchase an elaborate home warranty plan with extensive coverage, this article will give an idea about which appliances need protection the most.
For those of you new to this topic, let’s discuss in brief about home warranty plans before we go any further. A home warranty or an appliance warranty is a service contract that agrees to provide you with discounted repair and replacement services. When you purchase a home warranty plan, it will cover certain fixed appliances in your home which would be clearly mentioned in the contract. As and when any such appliance breaks, you can contact your warranty provider who in turn will arrange a service technician to visit your home to fix the damaged appliance. You will not have to pay for the actual repair, but only for the service.
This arrangement ensures that you save quite a bit as you don’t have to pay for the actual repair which may run into hundreds or even thousands of dollars, if part replacements are involved. So not only are home warranties an excellent form of budget protection, they are also time-saving!
Anybody with a home that’s older than four years or who lacks money for frequent and costly repairs should get a home warranty. You may want to look into our guide to buying home warranty plan for more information on this topic. Here’s who needs a home warranty-
If you are someone who does not want a plan with extensive coverage, you’ll want to know which appliances to include in your coverage. This is a subject that does require some thought and it will need an understanding of which appliances break most often in a typical American household.
Generally, major systems and appliances are the most expensive to maintain and repair. So naturally, they are prime options when it comes to considering what to be included in your home warranty. You might also want to consider appliances that are more likely to get damaged frequently. While most basic plans provide coverage for major appliances and systems, here is a list of things that must be included in your coverage for optimal results-
These are among one of the largest appliances found in any homes and with that size, comes difficulty in maintaining. Most HVAC units require a monthly cleaning and an annual check-up from a professional. If they crash, the cost to repair/ replace them could be in thousands and it is not something you want for your budget. Plans that cover HVAC units alone are available in the market today. However, it makes more sense to buy a plan that includes HVAC units along with other major systems. You may want to look into HVAC maintenance checklist to ensure that you are keeping your unit in prime condition.
Yet another system that requires protection under home warranty plan. Plumbing issues can be difficult to diagnose and fix, and may require exceptionally skilled and licensed technicians. Finding such a technician on short notice can be difficult which is why including plumbing under your coverage is a wise idea.
Refrigerator repairs are expensive and it’s not just that, if your fridge breaks down, you’ll also lose several hundred dollars worth of food which is just too awful to think about. Most home service contract companies offer plans that cover kitchen appliances alone. If you have an HVAC plan or you do not require other appliances, a kitchen appliance could be the ideal choice for you.
Especially, the main board. If the electrical system malfunctions, not only will all your appliances face the possibility of damage, your entire house might catch fire. This is something that needs to be given serious attention. Luckily, electrical systems are included under most basic plans. Some plans allow you to pick additional items from a pre-select list. So if electrical systems don’t fall under standard coverage, it would be a wise step to expand your coverage to include this.
If you decide to go ahead with a home warranty, give some serious thought to what appliances you want covered and how much you want to spend on your plan monthly. Fortunately, there are many providers out there that allow homeowners to customize plans to suit their needs. It shouldn’t be difficult to find one that meets your requirements. You may also want to look into our home warranty company comparison page and maybe get a free quote for a plan in your area.
In case you have bumps or hurdles when it comes to raising claims with the warranty provider, our guide on how to handle claim denials will help you immensely. We hope you found the article informative. Do share it with your friends and help them out too!
Home appliance protection plans are getting popular these days among homeowners. Such home warranty plans cover appliance repair costs and help homeowners with maintenance and repair services.
Home warranty plan is a contract to insure the appliances in case of breakdowns to cover-up the repairs or replacement.
Watch this video to know the basics of Home Warranty –
Home protection plan relieves you from unwanted stress and buys you peace of mind by providing the confidence that any repairs and replacement of your insured appliance will be taken care of by qualified service providers.
In case any of your insured appliances break down, first step is to place a service request by simply calling up your insurance company. Once the request is confirmed the same is sent out to schedule an appointment. Only the service fee will be collected to determine the problem and sort-out the issue.
Only the products listed in the insurance contract will be taken care of by the Home protection plan. Generally all major appliances like refrigerator, washer/dryer, bathtub, plumbing systems, electrical systems, ceiling fans, water heaters and garage door opener are covered in the insurance plan. If it is determined that your insured item cannot be repaired by a service contractor, then it will surely be replaced.
There are lots of home protection plans available in the market today. But it is not really hard to find which plan suits your requirements best, besides you just need to do some basic groundwork before deciding-
These are all the questions that you need to find the answers to before purchasing a home warranty policy. Some company policies cover only certain appliances while few are expensive. You need to be clear on all these issues.
Once you are certain about which plan suits your needs, compare the policy premiums and ensure the coverage plan. Finally, make sure the home warranty company is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, including weekends and holidays, so they are there when you need assistance. You can find such companies in our home warranty company directory. A home warranty company should have a toll-free number so it doesn’t cost money to call. Ensure that the customer support is available on easy track so that it helps in fast communication and service. Sign up with a company that has all the above mentioned facilities.
Planning to buy a Home Warranty policy? Watch this video –
Builder’s warranty is a written statement by the builder assuring that the house was completed as per a stipulated set of standards. This provides a form of protection to buyer from latent defects.
This form of warranty is also called a Limited warranty and is issued by the builder on their work. This is done either within the sales contract or as a separate document. The period of duration of such contracts are usually between one to ten years.
A Typical Builder’s warranty covers only the material and workmanship issues of various components relating to a new building. This includes
As mentioned before, the duration is largely dependent on the component. For example, material and workmanship issues are covered for a year. This would include paint, drywall, siding and stucco, door and trim etc. HVAC, plumbing and electrical units are usually covered for two years. Major structural defects like a roof that may collapse or any other structural damage that pose danger to the residents are covered for a period of up to ten years.
These warranties do not cover the cost incurred by the owners as a direct consequence of material and workmanship issues. Eg, staying away or moving out temporarily while a repair is being conducted. They also DO NOT cover the following:
If you wish to make a claim for your repair, first and foremost, refer to your warranty contract to ensure that the damage is indeed a covered one. If so, place a request to the builder informing them about the damage and requesting for a repair. It is recommended that you place this request in writing even if the company has a telephonic submission method. Ask for receipts and keep records of all correspondence. These records will help you if a dispute arises.
The builder’s warranty cannot replace the Homeowner’s Insurance or Home Appliance Warranty. All three are very different and have their own unique features.
For your own safety, it is suggested that you ask the following questions about your warranty.
The laws related to enforcing these warranties vary in each state. Therefore it will be a wise step to check with your State’s attorney general’s office or contractor licensing board to ensure that your builder follows all the laws as required by the state law.
Make sure that the contract is thoroughly studied and preserved. Experts say that the longer the contract, lesser the benefits. Such long contracts indicate inefficient builders who use vague clauses to narrow down the possibility of you succeeding in filing a claim. Shorter the contract, better the builder.
You may be asked to sign a “Warranty document” at the time of closing the sales. This is often a way to impose more rules on you and thereby narrow down your chances of making a claim on your warranty. If you have already agreed to sign such a document on your sales contract, you can’t do much about it. But if you have not consented to any such thing, you can and you should refuse signing this.
Towards the end of the duration of your contract, get your home inspected by a professional home inspector. This will help you make the best out of your warranty.
We stated earlier that the builder’s warranty cannot be used to replace a home warranty. Although both these plans cover home and it’s components, they are poles apart on certain matters.
You can also read about Differences between Homeowner’s insurance and Home Warranty.
The builder’s warranty is always a good way to ensure that you won’t have to pay for any repairs caused due to faulty or badly constructed structures. Always remember to clear all questions you have prior to signing the contract. Once signed, preserve the contract and other documents carefully. Should you ever feel that the service you received is not up to your expectation, spread the word. You can visit websites like ours to read about warranties and other topics related to owning a home. Cheers!
The intensive cultivation of plants in small living spaces, growing a micro-garden has become an urban phenomenon in the past decade. Using gardening tricks like vertical gardening and hanging planters, you can optimize the space at your disposal to garden away from your worries and reap rich health benefits out of it!
Growing a micro-garden is all about the management of space – be it a little strip of soil at the base of your porch or a few feet of a landscaped garden on your terrace.
Creating depth and dimension by using mounds, tiny hills and valleys can add to the surface area, and provide for different plant types at the same time.
Give the carrots and beets a little extra room to grow below the surface, allowing for the daisies to flourish in the shallow end.
Micro-gardening also requires you to plant in tandem with what the space can handle. Planting broccoli and cauliflower in pots for example, narrows down the yield to one plant per pot, each only giving you crop once. On the other hand, salad leaves, peas, peppers or vegetable creepers can last a whole season and feature at the dining table pretty much every meal.
Choosing to landscape your yard, however small, with only grass uses up the nutrients in the soil and requires way too much water to maintain. Hit two birds with one stone – aesthetics and fresh organic produce, and all from your own garden.
It doesn’t have to be all about the produce, and along with chemical-free homegrown vegetables can be great for your health, the lush maroons of beet leaves along with dwarf lemon trees and even cherry tomatoes can make for a beautifully landscaped micro-garden – a decorative landscaping strategy!
For your fruit bearing plants to flourish and the plants – both edible and flowering – to retain their strength and reproducing ability each year, pollination cannot be ignored. Herbs such as rosemary and basil act as great pollinators, as do flowers of plants such as squash and eggplant with their bright shades of yellows and violet calling for attention.
Gardening in limited yard spaces, pots and containers confine the availability of soil nutrition to a great extent, making it all the more important to consciously fertilize the soil during the planting process with compost and then keep it up with regular top soil additives.
Making sure that the plant grows to its fullest though the space available is restricted, fertilizers can not only boost the speed of fruit bearing but also keep the plant healthy and pest-free.
Nutrition can be kept at its optimum by using companion planting as well. A technique known often as soil real-estate, planting pairs of creepers and trees with tubers – potatoes under tomatoes, or carrots and onions under herb bushes for example – can not only save space but also allow the soils nutrients to cater to the different needs of different plants, often even replenishing itself.
Not all plants require yards and balconies, in fact, those precious kitchen spices and herbs can grow right at the kitchen window sill, as long as they get a daily dose of sunlight. From thyme and parsley to even ginger and tender garlic and pepper, windows work as just the right bridge between the elements outside and the comfort of your home.
It doesn’t have to be herbs in the kitchen, pretty much any window which is east facing can act as an active decorative space – full with pansies, gardenias, and purple passion, amongst many others.
Look at every space with a new perspective, and you can extend your micro-garden to creepers on the mailbox posts, cacti in broken crockery, lettuce along the walkways and even grapevines on the gate.
Hanging gardens aren’t off the table either – containers hanging on fences and railings or even simple hooked pots from the ceiling can overflow with creepers, maybe even some fruit bearing. The added benefit of hanging gardens, as opposed to those rooted in the soil, are that they can be moved around, making them easy to clean and shift according to season or sun exposure.
The fun of micro-gardening is its perfect balance between creativity and good-old landscaping. Don’t think of it as just a conventional utilization of your green thumbs; you can grow your garden in anything from old tires to broken tanks and fish bowls!
Cracked vessels make great containers as well, especially since the crack acts as a ready drainage system.
Decide which plant to pot according to your container size, a large plant will not grow in a small container and the other way round is just a waste of space. Also provide enough water to your container garden, as containers that have soil in them dry out faster and those nutrients flush out sooner.
Everyone’s heard of the famous vertical gardens scaling up walls in Hong Kong and Singapore, but they can just as easily be recreated right at home. With vertical gardens, there is a range of methods that you could employ; from the use of a traditional trellis to a recycled pallet planter or hanging hydroponic window gardens.
Accommodating everything from tomatoes and strawberries to squash and melons, these micro-gardens function just the same way as any others do, as long as the plant isn’t one that has very deep roots.
We’ve explored possibilities flat on the ground, scaling walls and even creeping up poles and pillars, but we have one last treat for you micro-gardeners – upside down hanging gardens.
Provided you choose plants with a dense root structure and support them well, upside down planters can hold and nourish anything from cherry tomatoes to strawberries and even kale – all with the added fun of seeing your garden head first!
For those of you who have space for soil beds, raising the bed a few inches or even a couple of feet off the ground can greatly help the gardening process. Giving the roots more space, allowing the excess water to drain and letting you restrict the soil to only where you want it, raised soil beds maximize space and minimize effort.
Having the plants a couple of feet off the ground reduces your need to hunch as well, a sure blessing for your spine.
Besides the weekly dusting off of topsoil, checking for cracks in the containers and weeds strangling the plants, micro-gardening is too close to your living space for you to not keep an eye on its possible repercussions.
None that can cause serious immediate damage, any micro-gardener must know that a part of the job is to keep a check out for seepage on the walls and possible weight bearing issues related to rooftop gardens and heavy planters.
Not allowing these concerns to come in the way of you keeping your green fingers busy, HomeWarrantyReviews.com acts as a threshold for you to enter the world of Home Warranty. A simple, quick and reliable escape from service and repair related errands and coordination. Home Warranty Reviews ensures peace of mind for you by providing with the vast knowledge base of research, ratings, and free tools so that your home never runs out of home warranty coverage according to your specific needs by calculating what exactly you want!
Just as we have discussed the various aspects of micro-gardening, what to do and what not to do when you garden at home and all tips and tricks on how to get the best out of it, HomeWarrantyReviews.com gives you a chance to explore the world of home warranty from the inside, with tips and tricks of its own. With access to reviews from professionals as well as customers, consumer research based articles give you the best of both worlds – the technical aspects as well as the personal experiences of users and agencies.
The thing is, we at HomeWarrantyReviews.com are so delighted for your continued support in providing useful reviews of the home warranties, along with using our outstanding free get quote tool for comparing various companies and its policies. We bet that the insights gained will continue to grow and remain invaluable, like always.
Home is where the heart is – everybody needs to delve deeper into their comfort zones. What’s going to aide us in this constant search? Technology. slowly, but surely technology is going to overhaul your way of life. You have to wait, til the cows come back home, ain’t it?
It takes constant effort and dedication to keep a home well-managed. (How else could you create that suave impression on your visitors?) You can run through our Ultimate Home Cleaning Hacks for some much needed inspiration. Keeping your home organized in easy steps is also a saver!
Get this into your head, make a habit out of each and every individual of your family. See to it that these handy tips are followed regularly and you’ll thank us later. It’ll be such an invigorating experience for sure.
The information seen here is the impending future, hopefully being materialized at a local store near you, within a couple of years.
Let’s see them all one-by-one over the next couple of engaging minutes-
Imagine the paint on a car self-powering a battery, how cool is that for the automotive industry? Paints on a sidewall of a home silently swindling energy to power lights on your front door, you read it right!
Using thin solar films loaded with minuscule photo-voltaic cells, these solar paints can be sprayed to achieve a superior finish. Look how this mind boggling technology is generating power and maintaining the beautiful aesthetics of a home too!
With due technological advancements, the solar paint is able to generate around 8.1% to 10% of solar energy whereas the traditional solar panel harnesses around 18% to 20% of sunlight into useful solar energy. Isn’t this revolutionizing our current trend? Wouldn’t you love to be a part of this remarkable move?
Solar Transparent Panel
Yet another technological breakthrough was seen in the form of completely transparent solar panels. When a normal window pane back home could potentially generate solar energy, undoubtedly skyscrapers can act as a potential source to harness unlimited power of the sun. Further, cities can work on a more self-sustaining energy consumption model. Even our mobile phone screens can be equipped with these transparent panels and according to researchers, these transparent solar panels can reach 50% more efficiency than the traditional solar panels being widely used world-over. Imagine the energy boost you’ll all get and how economically beneficial it can get in the long run! Not to forget the clutter you’d get rid off your rooftops. Ain’t that a charm for any homeowner?
Smart Homes Using Internet-of-Things
This is a huge and promising topic having the most applications under one umbrella. These technological features can relatively be convenient for any homeowner to access and this category gives the kind of satisfaction of comfort, at a deeper level.
Being able to take precautions with the help of a Weather Detection System, you could easily minimize the wrath of nature’s fury. (Probably it’s a good idea for homeowners down south to know which are the best home warranty companies in Florida, for it witnesses the most hurricanes in a calendar year!)
Next comes the state of the art home security systems which manages alarms for break-in, informing the police department to take immediate action at your location. Active surveillance cameras sense body motions and send movement alerts across your smartphones. Smart locks reading your fingerprints can trigger actions which either lock or unlock your front door. Lights can be turned on and off from a remote location, portraying the perspective that the home is not left unattended, even though you’re enjoying a holiday overseas.
The modern kitchen these days are a heaven, since the advent of the IoT, your appliances are more versatile, the age old plain looking front of the refrigerator can now smartly connect online and play your favorite show right on the refrigerator door itself. Yes, imagination can run high and you could potentially see appliances doing more than what they were originally meant to do.
Not only that, the lighting in the living space can be dimmed, music can be played with a flick of the wrist, and the heating and cooling systems can be activated just by the mere presence of a person. Moreover, even the water in your bathtub could be set to a temperature you fancy with nothing but hand gestures. And Light Fidelity (Li-Fi) is going to redefine the meaning of super-fast, crossing a whopping 200 gigs per second!
Imagine how wonderful self cleaning clothes sound, just run it with plain potable water! Visualize your home looking new and fresh every time a rain showers down at your place. Exciting, isn’t it! From rooftop tiles, paints on the walls and to the clothes you wear, newer disruptive technologies are making a significant impact and bringing in more types of appliances to the local store near you. And in due course of time, all appliances fail under certain circumstances. Hence, it’s always a good idea to cover for unexpected costs due to failure. So here’s a fair idea on how much you can annually save from a home warranty and as the technological barriers are brought down and implemented on a large scale, so does the price of the product becomes affordable. Since savings is a word not to be ignored in this fragile economic condition, we strongly advise you to protect your budget with home warranties. Hope for the best and prepare for the worst, eh Cap’n?
Home maintenance is an integral and expensive part of homeownership. Every homeowner worth his salt will swear that without proper maintenance of household appliances/ systems, the comforts of his home can be rendered ineffective.
It goes without saying that appliance repairs and replacements are costly. Not to mention the added trouble involved in looking for a trustworthy contractor and getting him to do the repair job at a reasonable price. While unexpected repairs can burn a hole in your pocket, preparing for them in advance may help you lessen the impact of the blow. Let’s see how you can efficiently manage home maintenance costs without hassle.
The first and foremost step is to make a list of all the appliances and systems in your home. Follow this step by creating a table, you can use an MS Excel Spreadsheet or even a simple paper will do. Make 5 columns, mark the first one as “Item” and fill that column with names of all the appliances you own.
This is quite crucial. If you have the paperwork relating to the date of purchase like invoice, bills etc, it will be immensely helpful in determining the year in which the appliance was manufactured. Fill the second column with corresponding values of date of manufacture.
Name the next column as “life expectancy”. Fill it in with average expected life spans of every appliance/system.
In the next column, write down the current age of the appliance. If you don’t know the exact year of manufacture of an appliance, use an estimate.
Deduce the number of years remaining for an appliances from the date of manufacture and the average life expectancy. If,for any component, the value of this field is less than or equal to 5, chances are high that that particular appliance/system may require repairs in the near future.
You can do some research online to find out about the cost of new appliances. Fill that out in the next column.
By now your table should look somewhat like this –
|Appliance/ System||Year of manufacture||Life expectancy||Current age (‘15)||Years remaining|
Any appliance, whose years remaining value is less that 5 is likely to undergo faults and errors more frequently. Shortlist any such appliances and sum up values of their total replacement costs. The amount could be huge or reasonable. If it is huge, it is recommended that you purchase a home warranty plan to ensure budget protection.
Once you make a table for every appliance/ system in your house, you will be able to predict which appliances will require repair services in the next 5 years. Avoid focusing on appliances that have more than 5 years remaining.
Look out for expense clusters. For eg, in the above table, both dishwasher and clothes washer have only 4 years remaining, which means they stand a chance to die during the same year. This could lead to an “expense cluster” as you will have to replace two appliances in the same year.
If you feel that you will be encountering multiple appliance repair needs in the near future, we suggest that you invest in some form of appliance protection plan. Ideally, for any homeowner whose appliances or the home itself is over 4 years old, a home warranty is the best bet for budget protection.
These plans offer discounted repairs and replacements services. In most cases, the homeowner only has to pay nominal deductible fee ($40 – $100) for each service incident. Annual premiums for such plans are quite affordable too (around $250 – $500).
Like we said, without proper maintenance, even the best of homes will turn into an almighty mess. As the old saying goes, a stitch in time, saves nine, likewise timely maintenance could save you loads of money on appliance repairs later.
You can go through Home Maintenance Tips to become aware of the steps you can take to keep your home and its appliances healthy. You can also read about various Home Warranty Plans to secure budget protection and peace of mind.
If you have been planning to buy a house or you have already bought a house, realizing the importance of homeowners insurance is very important. Make sure you have adequate coverage. Studies reveal that approximately 20% of the Americans have cut back on their insurance costs to meet their other monthly financial obligations.
However, insurance coverage is one thing that should never be compromised upon. Your home insurance should be such that it should not only give you adequate coverage but it should also do justice to the amount you shell out as premium. And your premium should be within your reach. It is only when you find it difficult to make payments for the premium that the insurance policy appears to be a financial burden to you.
The ideal way to find the best quote for homeowners insurance is to shop around. You can compare quotes online or talk to insurance carriers personally. There are many insurance carriers that offer different plans to meet the requirements of the consumers. You can try out these and after evaluating the pros and cons of the plan, should you buy your insurance policy.
It is very important that you are not underinsured. If you save some cash now by staying underinsured, you may have to shell out just the double in case of a financial emergency or an unforeseen event.
Instead of buying inadequate coverage for your homeowners insurance policy, there are many things you can do to cut down expenses related to your insurance policy in a reasonable manner. Given below are few measures you can take to reduce insurance costs.
So, when you have the above measures to keep your insurance cost down, it is not necessary to reduce the coverage to save costs.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The leading real estate portal Angie’s list has released its annual list of best and worst rated companies based on member surveys. Home Warranty companies topped Most Complained List for 3rd Straight Year. Thirty-eight percent of the reports for home warranty companies were “F” grades. In addition, architects, structural engineering and solar panel companies made the bottom ten for the second year in a row. Angie’s List collected nearly 300,000 reports in 2007 from members who graded service companies on overall experience, price, quality, responsiveness and punctuality.
Here is the list. Visit Angie Hicks Blog to read the complete article Angie’s List Top 10 worst grade earners:
1. Warranty companies
2. Home builders
3. Furniture sales
4. Internet service providers
6. Structural engineering
7. Solar panels
8. Taxi/Shuttle service
9. Entertainment/party services
Angie’s List Top 10 best grade earners:
2. Dog walkers
3. Piano tuning
4. Animal training
6. Hair salons/barbers
7. Upholstery cleaning services
8. Animal/house sitters
9. Window cleaners
10. Lighting 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.
The better the reviews for a Home Warranty Company (New York, Virginia, Texas, California, etc.), the better your chances of earning and saving more at the same time. What makes it so attractive is the almost nullification of advertising costs for the contractor. All companies that work along with Contractors offer free referrals to Contractors, to all their home warranty customers.
In order to make the most of the significant market that exists, it is never enough to know the technical know-hows of how to repair electronic appliances but you should also be ready to expend a part of your revenue into marketing your brand.
Another reason it is beneficial to work with a Home Warranty company would be because it guarantees continuous work, and you are less prone to be out of work on a not-so-profitable season. With increasing work calls from the Home Warranty Company, the more chances you have at expanding your brand, either by hiring new technicians or buying new work-enhancing technology. With this sort of reliability, you could be fixing an AC and heater at any time of the year.
This can also prove beneficial to the Home Warranty company too as the contractors provide good reviews of the companies they are working with, increasing their chances of contacting them again or even spread goodwill by word of mouth.
When you decide to take on this relationship with a Home Warranty Company, it is also important for a Contractor to remember that he/she must be efficient in receiving calls from customers, who are directed from the Home Warranty company itself. Customer service is the lifeline on which the success of Contractor business can rely on, especially in the case where you are working with a Home Warranty Company where all your customers are directed from the contact number you provide the company.
Joining bigger Home Warranty Companies can give you a form of exclusivity if one outperforms all the contractors a company has hired. This will allow you to appear at the top of their list of contractors, especially if they provide reviews’ section.
Almost all leading Home Warranty Companies offer online applications which you can fill up in your leisure time and submit with all the relevant information typed in.
Some of these leading Home Warranty Companies include,
The customer reviews’ section within our own website can also be found for some of the top rated Home Warranty Companies like American Home Shield, The Home Service Club, Secure Home Warranty, America’s Preferred Home Warranty-APHW, Select Home Warranty and First American Home Warranty (also picked as 2017’s Editor’s Choice, a brand new category introduced this year).
However, all contractors are requested to review the home warranty companies they’ve worked with on an exclusively dedicated space called the Vendor’s Area. Here, one can dish out all the good and bad experiences one’s had by taking up the jobs given by the home warranty companies.
Some of the benefits to the contractor by working with a Home Warranty Company like above, in addition to the ones already mentioned, would be:
Renowned Home Warranty Companies also help their contractors in times of need, which include an experienced support team and a high limit on calls. Companies like Home Warranty of America also helps Contractors claim costs.
Before filling up your application form to become a Service Contractor, it is a necessary step to license your contractorship. Every Home Warranty Company expects the Service Contractor they are about to work with are certified contractors with a license and hence you are required to fill up your license ID in the application form.
Also you are required to fill in your Auto Insurance Policy Number, and your General Liability Insurance Policy Number (optional). Insurance Policies are in your own interest, hence even if some of them are optional we recommend you create one if absent.
Diversifying your skills can also be very beneficial before applying for a Contractorship with a Home Warranty Company. As you fill up your application, you are asked of your specialization and hence learning new skills can help you strike off more blanks, increasing your popularity among the reviews and consequently help increase your revenue.
Consistent work can be guaranteed when you are able to juggle with different kinds of repairs be it plumbing, garbage disposal, weed/lawn mowing, ceiling fans, gas fireplace or septic system. These numbers can go up to a hundred so a little bit of extra skill can only put you so much ahead of the rest of the contractors.
If you are looking to expand your presence in contractorship, applying to work with a Home Warranty Company is the best as it can get. You can save and earn more at the same time, a chance usually deprived for those working outside of these companies. There are many ways you can utilize such an opportunity, more so as there are numerous Home Warranty Companies and your chances at getting in at any one of them aren’t nearly dim. Go ahead and fill your applications now!
Our portal also lets you access some of the most sophisticated lists of best home warranty companies, ranked on a various different criterion. This is, in addition to the Complaint Resolution Program (CRP) and Home Maintenance Calculator. Be sure to check them out!
Not every home needs home warranty coverage. So, as a homeowner, you should get appliance warranty plans if only it makes financial and practical sense.
Home Warranty is a appliance repair contract which takes care of repairs of electrical, plumbing and appliances inside the home. You will pay an annual premium (in the range of $300 to $500) in advance for repair or servicing of most important appliances in your home.
If you don’t have a plan in place and wondering what would it cost, get an estimate on home warranty for your house.
If you are an existing homeowner, appliance warranty simply provides peace of mind. It protects your pocket from expensive repairs. If something breaks down, you will place a call to the service provider and they will repair or replace the system within a reasonable timeframe.
If your house is more than 5 years old, you are likely to encounter many repair issues. So, it is a good idea to have home warranty insurance unless you have time and money at your disposal and you like fixing things around.
Imagine your air conditioner or heating unit breaks down and you need to replace the old unit. It may cost anywhere from $6,000 to $14,000 to replace. If you have warranty contract, it would be the service provider’s responsibility to replace the unit.
For a lot of people purchasing a home for the first time, the issue of home warranty arises before completing the transaction. Is this type of protection plan truly necessary?
The new home buyers have fears when procuring a home and fairly so. They do not want to come across a major repair bill soon after purchasing their new home. In order to ease these fears, real estate agents at times offer home warranty insurance to help close the deal. Most of the times they may have the seller pay this or they might even shell out it themselves. The average price for this is $300-$500 a year.
So now you can be sure, it will be purchased at the lowest costs for one year. After all, this is just a concession to help you relax with your worries and close on the house. So in your mind, if it’s FREE then go ahead and take them up on the contract. Or, you can decide the provider and see if they will employ the company you suggest.
Now, you should keep a few things in mind.
First of all, you get what you shell out. Second, most of the home warranty firms are not reputable. Many among them have a record of complaints and displeased clients. So be careful while choosing a reputable company as it requires exhaustive research.
If any of your appliances such as garbage disposal, washing machine or heating and cooling systems malfunction or break down, all you have to do is call up the home warranty company which will arrange a technician to come by your home to fix the problem. Most companies have a service call fee that is called as a deductible and will normally charge you about $60 to $100. There are a handful of home warranty companies that offer zero ($0) deductible as well.
Purchase home warranty if any one of the following is true:
If you are are a first time home buyer, you should definitely get some kind of coverage. New home owners are generally short of money, so the risk of having to pay for a pricey HVAC repair is just too much for them to manage. Having to mend or restore a heating and cooling system could cost thousands of dollars.
Firstly you must know precisely what is covered and broad this coverage is.
The short list of coverage is:
Price depends on the type of coverage and also on the city you live in. If you would like to know how much would it cost to get a service contract, choose one of the Top Rated Home Warranty Companies and request a price estimate.
Your work will be to find out how much coverage you have and for how long. You must comprehend that there are various levels of coverage. In some cases they may cover the furnace but not the air conditioning outside. You have to ask and need to understand.
Before you buy, you need to be acquainted with the reputation of the company. You can check home warranty reviews on our site and shortlist few good companies. Almost all of the companies will have some complaints, but you should look how many they have and are they determined.
One thing about this type of protection plan is that the warranty companies are interested in repairing, rather than replacing your appliance in most cases. In most cases, they will service the units only if the fault is due to regular wear and tear conditions. If the units are poorly maintained, then they may not repair. One more thing you need to be cautious for is “pre-existing defects or deficiencies” since these are not covered. You will discover that almost all home warranty companies won’t allow the policy to take effect unless you have stayed in the house for at least 30 days.
The good thing about having home warranty insurance is that it can give you calmness since you are likely stretched out on the budget anyway. The final thing you want is to have an appliance or a furnace go away in the first year after moving in.
For older homes, it is a “no-brainer” choice. But before buying a home service contract, homeowners should study the fine print in the home warranty contract and cautiously think whether the warranty is going to pay off. Home sellers who want to provide a warranty to buyers and homeowners/buyers who would feel more relaxed having a home warranty should also carefully investigate to find a reputable home warranty company that will in fact pay for genuine repairs when they are desirable.
When is the homeowner supposed to buy home warranty? A home warranty is not a plan that can be purchased and used for the life of a home, but it is a warranty coverage for home appliances. It is procured before the sale of a home and acts as insurance for the new homeowner. Selling a home can be much easier if there is a home warranty drawn in. Shopping for a new home is a pricey endeavor.
People accept loans to purchase real estate, not wanting or expecting to spend extra on repairs for systems, appliances and things such as roofing. These hidden costs usually leave new homeowners in complex positions. A home warranty protects the new homeowner against these unexpected problems. Sometimes issues with different household features such as appliances come up in the closing days of a real estate contract. This can make a closing tricky and cost the original owner large sums of money they had not intended on spending. These issues might also convince the potential buyer to pull out of the deal, resulting in a failed transaction. The seller must then perform the necessary repairs before putting their home back on the market. A home warranty can only be implemented to working appliances and systems. The age of the item is not taken into consideration as long as it is in working order.
Retailers, installers and manufacturers may provide separate warranties, each of which covers a different part of the home. Inquire for copies to take home and contrast against other packages from other retailers. Ensure that you get a copy of the complete warranty, not only a summary brochure. Glance at the combined terms of all the warranties that cover a home. All new homes must have a warranty but old or used homes may not, or may have a limited warranty. Be cautious of homes sold with no warranty – there may be several hidden problems with the home.
As a consumer, identify what is and is not covered before purchasing any home warranty. Ensure the details are clarified in any contract before you sign it.
None of these aspects should deter a buyer from purchasing a warranty that meets his or her needs but it takes a fair amount of due meticulousness to identify all the hidden costs in buying a home regardless of whether it is new or used.
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.
There are quite a few things you need to consider before you decide whether or not you need an appliance maintenance plan.
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.
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
Now let’s take a look at the advantages separately
Advantage of HVAC maintenance plans:
Advantages of Home Warranty plans:
Who needs an HVAC maintenance plan?
The U.S Dept. of Energy advises having your HVAC systems checked at least twice a year. This could be expensive for some.
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:
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.
When you look at the words most often used in emotional complaints about home warranty companies you may find that “scam” is a very common term. But if you look very closely at the home warranty industry it’s hard to find evidence of a scam rooted in the established home warranty companies.
Though homeowners are not always happy with the speed or manner of the response to their claims it takes more than just complaints to make a true scam. So are there no scams in the home warranty industry? My personal opinion is that there are plenty of scams and if you look back you’ll find plenty more in the past. Does that make the home warranty industry unique? I definitely don’t believe so. Auto insurance, health insurance, home building, government, religion – you name it, there have been scandals and grounds to throw words like scam around. A home warranty is not unique in that it has unhappy customers. Show me an industry without unhappy customers and I’ll be the first to change careers. But like I mentioned before, home warranty customers have been victimized and are probably being victimized even today.
Spotting the scams and the companies that are not operating with the best interests of their customers in mind is the very first priority. This is where homeowners and legitimate home warranty companies can work together. Real estate agents, home repair contractors, home inspectors, and many other professional and customer advocacy groups can also help to point out the signs that home warranty companies are not doing what is right for their customers.
How can homeowners identify home warranty companies that are likely to be scams or just not be doing what is right in terms of their commitments to customers? There are a few basic approaches to getting a good read on a home warranty company and all of them involve some time spent doing homework. What this comes down to really is customers taking their time and not making impulse purchases of home warranty contracts. And during that period of finding out about a home warranty company here are some things homeowners would be wise to look out for:
It’s difficult to predict what sort of stunt criminals will pull tomorrow but in terms of what scams I’ve heard of up to now, here are a few. The names may be funny but the financial losses and wasted time on the parts of the jilted customers are nothing to smile about.
This one involves a company that isn’t a company at all. It has none of the financial depth that is required to cover the costs of handling repairs and replacements when home warranty customers file claims. In fact, these companies rarely have a real office and follow the same pattern almost every time. They deny all the claims they can, approve the ones they can’t but then don’t pay anyone for the work performed, and then when frustrated customers cancel they promise refunds which they also fail to pay.
These companies oftentimes pay their contractors and approve returns but do so in such a way as to gradually put the company further and further behind on various debts. While they do this they use positive customer reviews to attract more customers and also spend a great deal on advertising in some cases. By the time they become fat with customers and reach their peak they’ve already bankrupted the company through poor management. The customers who are holding new home warranty contracts the day the company finally sneaks out its back doors and turns off the phones are the ones who get hit the hardest. Sometimes this type of scam leaves a long-term trail of customers who don’t find out their contract is worthless until they attempt to contact their home warranty company’s customer service center. This grab-the-cash-and-dash routine has burned many, many homeowners over the years.
Some people who found bad home warranty companies get away with their misdeeds or only receive a slap on the hand that holds the checkbook. They then go on to start other home warranty companies using new company names and sometimes using different people as the officers or owners of the company. By disguising themselves they evade the public scrutiny that would otherwise stop their scams cold. Homeowners caught up in the web of these characters can count on denied claims, shoddy work, unpaid contractors pursuing the homeowner for debts the home warranty company owes payment for, and many other unpleasant circumstances.
For the sake of other consumers, friends, and the home warranty industry where companies work diligently to satisfy their customers, any homeowner who feels that a claim was handled unfairly or that there are signs of misconduct on the part of their home warranty company should not remain silent. All too often home warranty companies give the overall industry a bad name with their poor handling of claims, contractor relations, or other important areas of their businesses. And in the case of true scams, more often than not, the people behind the scams only get away with what they do because it takes so long for anyone in a position to stop them from realizing what is happening. As consumers realize their options to use government offices, social media, and word of mouth to sound the alarm about bad home warranty companies it will become more and more difficult for new scams to find victims.
This is a guest article written by Kevin Wallach. As owner and writer at CompareHomeWarrantyQuotes.com Kevin spend a great deal of time collecting information to help his readers better understand home warranty plans. Though home warranty is not the most popular topic online, it does mean a lot to homeowners who need help with questions about it.
Ever wondered what is the difference between home warranty and homeowners insurance ? Are they not same? Let’s find answers for these questions.
While home warranty and home insurance products may come across as same, they are totally different. The coverage, cost, terms and conditions vary greatly. Home insurance is compulsory in some cases whereas home warranty is a recommended choice.
Home warranty offers protection for your major appliances, as well as plumbing and electrical units. It covers the cost of repairing or replacing major household appliances in case they break down, provided they meet the terms and conditions of the home service contract.
Home insurance covers your home in the event of damage due to natural calamity or man-made disasters and offers you liability protection from lawsuits in case of a third party involvement. If your neighbor came visiting you and accidentally fell and got injured and decides to sue you, then home insurance will take care of the claims. Home insurance is mandatory if you have a mortgage on your home.
Items covered by a home warranty may vary by company and plan, but typically includes the following items:
In case of an uncertain event like fire, theft, vandalism, or certain natural disasters, the cost of damages are covered. It also covers your personal items and gives you liability protection. Liability insurance will protect you from lawsuits in the event that someone is injured on your property. Home insurance will only insure your personal items in case they are stolen or ruined in a disaster. Repairs and replacements due to wear and tear are not covered.
The insurance policy varies depending on your state of residence and type of policy, but generally it will cover the following.
Home is the most prized and cherished possession any individual can have and nobody anticipates damages to this, therefore a home insurance provides you the following benefits when you cover your home.
A standard warranty runs $300 to $500 for a year of protection, which covers the cost of repairing or replacing a home’s major systems and appliances. Home sellers typically pick up the tab for the first year of coverage. Extended coverage plans for pools, spas and washers and dryers can be purchased at an extra cost.
Insurance cost varies from state to state and depends on the extent of coverage and the location of the property but a standard insurance can cost any homeowners insurance is between $300 and $1,000.
When you are planning to buy a home warranty, make sure that you do some research. Check our home warranty reviews section that provides pricing, comparison, quotes and consumer reviews of all major companies. When you are getting price quotes, inquire to look over a sample policy. Bear in mind to understand the entire policy, together with the fine print.
Another advantage of home warranty policy is that it is transferable. That means when you sell the house the warranty would be passed to the new owner. This has proved to be a well-liked feature amongst home buyers as homes having home warranties are selling at increased prices and in much shorter times. This in itself could make it sensible to get a home warranty policy.
When a covered appliance breaks down you need to contact your warranty company. A warranty company already has business ties with different service vendors. They will in turn contact a service repairman to come to your home and repair the appliance. The repairman will fix the item or recommend replacing it. The service repairman will bill your warranty company directly, but you have to pay a service charge when the repair person visits your home.
With any kind of insurance, it is always a good idea to shop around and evaluate benefits and prices as most insurance companies will provide you a policy discount. Ensure you read the policy before writing a check and ask any queries that you have in mind.
So, the conclusion is that home warranty and insurance are complementary to each other. You can choose to protect everything you own, provided you can afford to. Keep in mind that these insurance products do cost a bit more, but compared to the benefits they provide and the peace of mind you get, it seems like a very small amount. Insure your home as well as buy a home warranty all within your budget.
Real estate transactions are always approached with caution. They often involve large amounts of money so being careful is a wise step. Having a skilled real estate agent may help you a lot in achieving a deal that’s perfect for you, especially if you are new to real estate dealings. But the questions is, how do you choose a real estate agent that suits your needs?
Irrespective of whether you are a buyer or a seller, there are certain things that you can do to ensure that your real estate agent is quite good. You can ask your friends and relatives in case if they have used the services of a real estate agent before for referrals.
But before you decide about an agent, understand why exactly do you need an agent. There are many benefits of hiring a real estate agent.
So our checklist for picking the right real estate agent involves doing the following things-
Some say that like doctors, real estate agents too have specializations. A certified real estate agent often belongs to any of the three categories-
Also, if an agent calls himself a Realtor, it could mean that he/she is a member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Based on what your requirement is – buying, selling or renting, pick an agent with the right credential.
Check with your state’s regulatory body to find out whether the agent you have in mind has a license to be a real estate agent or not. Most states have a board from whom practicing real estate agents are expected to obtain a license. This board also oversees the discipline of such agents. Such a regulatory body would be the best place to find out if there are any existing complaints, disciplinary actions or lawsuits against a certain real estate agent or not. This information could be available online.
This information can be obtained from the regulatory board in your state. The state licensing authority often gives more precise answers than the agents themselves. As you want someone who’s on top of their game, an agent who has not been active in the last few years may not be a good choice.
Keep in mind that you want someone who is familiar with your target location and price range. Someone with a bad market presence may not be a good choice.
These days most agents have a website through which they invite in potential clients and also display their current listings. If you are a seller, you should be ware that most buyers begin with the Internet. So you want someone who makes use of the Internet effectively, as being web savvy definitely has its advantages.
If the real estate agent’s website has a database of current listings and its details, it is definitely a good sign.
If a real estate agent is good, he/she would’ve closed many deals and would have many clients who recommend them strongly. The greater the number of closings, greater is the agent’s experience. Make sure that you call up most of the references provided by the real estate agent. Clients are often the best people to give you feedback.
While we have given you really cool tips, we strongly suggest that you do ample research before you pick an agent. Ideally, meet several real estate agents and shortlist the ones that meet all the above mentioned pointers. You can then pick one from that list. If you are a seller, we would also like to remind you that offering a home warranty with your home may increase the sales price of your property. And if you are a buyer, if a property comes with home warranty, it could mean that your budget could stay protected if major appliances and systems require repairs.
We hope you found this article useful. Do let us know what you think. Cheers!
Just the decision to take the task of building a home into your own hands can be daunting, keep aside the fact that liabilities are now yours alone to deal with. The joy of being there every step of the way and having a say in every brick, beam, and wall comes with a lot of responsibility. The smallest of injuries on site to a worker, accidental falls, natural disasters and other unforeseen circumstances can put your budget off by thousands of dollars.
Time is a factor as well, having the plan pushed back by weeks, if not months; time and money that you cannot get back. Such accidents are what makes it prudent for you to invest in structural insurance, warranty and legal coverage for all the essentials.
Structural insurance functions within the parameters of Builders Insurance and Site Insurance, covering claims regarding the foundation and architectural framework of the building, as well as the integrity of the site it is built on.
As the percentage of self-built homes increase in the US, numerous companies now offer a comprehensive list of structural insurance for homes built without the assistance of building agencies.
If narrowed down to just structural claims, structural insurance covers the claim of any structural defects in a home for a fixed number of years after it is built. Often certain companies have a secondary set of rules, pertaining to the fact that the claim will only kick in 7 to 10 years after the house is completed.
That being said, structural insurance usually comes hand in hand with site and builders insurance as well, both essential and usually synonymous with structural insurance.
Site insurance is offered to builders as well as individuals who have purchased land and intend to construct. It not only covers any natural disaster-related damage – fire, storm, flood – to the land, but also the temporary structures on it. The coverage puts aside a certain sum to take care of any unforeseen circumstances that may cause huts, caravans, tools and the building under construction itself to be partially or wholly damaged.
Certain insurance companies not only take care of the monetary side of things but also offer services to clean, repair and bring back the space to its former state.
In recent times, Builder’s Insurance has become a must for self-built structures, especially since it establishes a sense of trust between the homeowner and the bank or builder who is offering monetary assistance.
Builder’s insurance acts as the umbrella under which site and structural insurance fall, but often companies do cater to individual needs by offering them separately. These insurance policies even accommodate for theft of tools and valuables from the site, but usually, put a limit of the claim. That being said, it is important to pick appropriate coverage plans and not under or over-insure your property.
Allowing delays and pushbacks, any building or structural insurance for individuals who are constructing on their own extend to 18 months, as opposed to the usual 12-month coverage given for builders.
Building a home isn’t only about the structure and integrity. Along each step of the way, you have to be aware of not only accidents and loss that are beyond your control, but also any harm that the process may cause to workers, the public and adjacent private and public property.
As a homeowner, you are liable if any of your workers are injured during the course of construction, or even if they fall ill due to toxic substance exposure while they worked for you.
Even a trespasser walking into property can have a legal claim if he or she is injured due to any improper construction methods.
Damage to surrounding property can be another reason you are faced with a very large bill for compensation. Everything from a falling tree branch to heavy machinery vibrations that may cause harm to adjacent structures can be seen as cause for a lawsuit. Most often, such damage is seen to happen during the time when your foundation is being set, causing worry about underground water sources and support extending below the ground of other buildings in the area.
Besides structural and builder’s insurance, warranty extends the coverage, claims, and care for years after the home is built – taking care of issues and damage that insurance does not address. While insurance deals with unforeseen circumstances and matters that were out of your control, Home Warranty offers solace when you need to deal with maintenance, repair, and replacement due to general wear and tear.
Usually put in place for a period of ten years, Structural Warranty covers defects in the foundation, load-bearing walls, beams, pillars and sometimes even wiring and plumbing systems. Not only does it keep you worry free, it also assures that any negligence on the part of the contractor is covered for without conflict.
If you are shopping for a home warranty, also called a home service contract, and you live in Florida then you probably know you have lots of options. But how do i find the best home warranty companies in Florida? What are the top rated companies in this state? These are valid questions. Let’s get down to answering them.
Florida is often called the sunshine state, and this is justified by the weather there. Orlando, one of the most popular vacation destinations in the U.S., typically still sees high temperatures near 80 degrees Fahrenheit in November, according to weather website, Intellicast.com. Warm climates like that can really push air conditioning systems to the limit of the systems’ optimal performance standards.
Running the A/C year round results in much greater wear and tear and more frequent maintenance requirements. What does this have to do with choosing a home warranty company? Well, if your home is located in one of the warmer parts of Florida then your air conditioner may be one of the most expensive pieces of equipment covered by your service contract. So it’s important to choose the company that offers you the best coverage for that system.
HomeWarrantyReviews.com ranks companies based on user feedback. And that’s important because it means you’re getting honest evaluations rather than biased ones based on how much the home warranty company pays to the reviewer. In the state of Florida here is the list of top companies based on the current standings on the website at the time this article was written (September 2015).
Chances are you’ve considered some of these companies during your search for a home warranty company. As top companies in the home warranty industry these are names that you’ll see in many states and regions in the country. But yours isn’t just any state. If it was it wouldn’t be a magnet for retirees, beach goers and vacationers of all ages, would it? As a Florida homeowner you need to know that the company you choose will come through for you when the temperature inside your home is equal to the temp outside. Let’s focus on air conditioning for a moment.
AHS has loads of positive feedback in their recent reviews, but two in particular stand out. During the month of September two customers rated AHS five stars for air conditioner repairs. One customer remarked that when AHS found that all of its contractors were booked to help other customers the company told the homeowner to call any local contractor who could do the work on short notice. That sort of customer service could possibly mean the difference between your air conditioner being fixed quickly or waiting days for a qualified technician to be available.
HSC also has some very positive review comments and ratings from consumers who specifically mentioned the air conditioner as the reason for the service call. In one review the homeowner remarked that the repair to the air conditioner would have cost a fortune if not for the service contract from HSC. While this may seem like anecdotal feedback, it’s important to note that not all companies reviewed on HomeWarrantyReviews.com have positive feedback from customers who had problems with air conditioning systems.
This company has some very positive reviews from customers whose air conditioners were serviced recently. Not one of the recent air conditioning related reviews had less than five star ratings.
In recent reviews for HSA Home Warranty there are three extremely positive reviews involving air conditioning system repairs. The customers not only were happy with the repairs but also with the speed with which the repair technicians were sent out by the home warranty company. With air conditioning being so important, the time it takes to get a technician to the home is one of the most important aspects of home warranty services.
Out of six recent reviews which specifically mention the air conditioner being the reason for the service call, five of those are extremely positive. The one dissatisfied customer was upset due to a problem with the expiration and renewal period of the home warranty.
HWA has six recent reviews that involved air conditioning. While it’s possible that even more of the reviews involve air conditioner issues, we will focus on these six. Five of the six reviews were highly positive, all earning the maximum number of stars from the reviewers. The one unhappy customer was a landlord who felt the technician sent by HWA did not make the correct judgement regarding the problem with the air conditioning system problem.
It’s not coincidence that these first three companies have overall high ratings from customers in your state and in other states. And though the companies deserve credit for the satisfied customers it’s important to note that the contractors they work with are also a big part of those good customer experiences. That leads us to the next point to consider. What type of contractor coverage do these companies have in your area?
If you live in a densely populated part of Florida then chances are any of these top rated companies will have sufficient contractor coverage to cover any repair needs that arise in your home. But if you live in a more rural part of Florida you’ll want to keep in mind that each contractor network is different. Be sure to ask about the local contractor coverage when you speak with a company about a home warranty price and coverage quote. And also be sure to ask if the company will allow you to choose your own contractor in the event the company’s network contractors are unavailable to help you or don’t have the right skill set to fix whatever is broken.
The good news is you live in a state with lots of great companies to offer you a home warranty. The bad news is you may have a hard time choosing a company due to all the options available. If that should happen then be sure to come back here to read the most current reviews for each company you are considering.