According to a news release, Atlanta based AGL Resources, Detroit-based DTE Energy and Tampa-based TECO Energy, Inc. have formed a joint venture to offer home warranty products and services under the brand name “UtiliPRO”
UtiliPRO home warranty plan will be launched in Georgia before opening for business in other AGL Resources territories, including Tennessee, Virginia, Maryland and New Jersey and possibly other states also. The firm was established at the tail end of 2009 and is based in Atlanta. UtiliPRO will be headed by former DTE Energy director of business development Kevin McCrackin.
UtiliPRO initially is offering a home warranty appliance repair program that will cover both natural gas and electric appliances as well. The program details are not available, but it appears the company will cover only heating and cooling appliances. Most of the home warranty companies such as American Home Shield offer a blanket policy covering many other appliances in the home. This program is unusual, however, the repair or replacement costs are much higher for heating appliances, so consumers might be willing to pay less and have coverage for large appliances.
“Given current economic conditions, this is an ideal time to launch this new business,” said John W. Somerhalder II, chairman, president and CEO of AGL Resources. “UtiliPRO will help people manage unplanned and expensive repairs of their most important appliances.”
Kevin McCrackin said the backing and experience of three well-regarded utilities – AGL Resources, DTE Energy and TECO Energy – with a desire to provide valued products and services during these challenging times will differentiate UtiliPRO from traditional providers of home warranties.
“UtiliPRO combines the utility business appreciation for effective, efficient processes that deliver consistent, quality service with in-the-home, beyond-the-meter products and services that extend the public trust of their utility into a more direct customer relationship,” McCrackin said.
Freon is not as common a word in the American lexicon as it used to be. And that is greatly due to the phase out of the product that started decades ago. That common household name was once the main chemical component in central heating and cooling systems, but that started to gradually change in 1987 when the U.S. government decided to gradually get rid of the ozone damaging chemical. That chemical, technically referred to as r-22, is only a handful of years away from the end of its U.S. phase out timeline.
Your home’s air conditioner, when it’s working the way it should, does not need added coolant. But like most machines, the ideal condition and the real world condition of the average central heating and cooling system differ.
People who have recently discovered leaks in their older HVAC systems will already be aware that it’s getting more expensive to recharge the coolant. As less r-22 is available to technicians and homeowners the costs will probably continue to increase. Here’s what I learned about this trend and what we all may expect in the future.
Some U.S. homeowners are immune to the problem of rising Freon costs. Newer homes, particularly ones built after 2010, typically have HVAC systems that use newer coolants, ones that will be around for a long time and are produced and distributed in greater quantities. But those of us with the older systems face a dilemma. Do we upgrade to a newer HVAC system, a decision that involves lots of out of pocket costs, or do we continue to accept the rising expense of recharging the coolant in leaking systems that regularly require a refill?
After researching this myself I concluded that the most cost effective choice is to leave the existing system in place at least until 2020, but that is only true if the system is running well and not leaking coolant. I also believe that a system that requires some component repair or replacement but does not leak is cheaper to keep than replace. I found that to be true after looking at the prices of replacement parts. Long after r-22 is no longer made there will still be new parts manufactured for the older systems. Those parts will not contain any coolant though. That is the most important thing to consider when making your own decision. At what point is it more expensive and time consuming to find a technician or coolant source still carrying the old coolant type? That will likely vary from one area of the U.S. to another. But keep in mind that some of that coolant will still be available in the form of reclaimed product, taken out of systems and reused, for years to come.
If your HVAC system is in poor condition then you may be better off trying to find a way to afford the cost of replacing the entire system. I arrived at that conclusion after examining the costs of replacing individual components of an older system. And here is the real problem with continuing to fix that old system. The newer coolant type, r410a, does not work with older systems. Trying to convert a system from r-22 to r410a is highly impractical. The system pressure is higher for r410a, the lubricant type is different and overall it’s a throwing good money after bad to even attempt a conversion for most homeowners.
Anyone in this situation who plans to keep the house for more than a few years should think seriously about financing options. Some local utility companies and some HVAC installers offer financing options. And in some instances the monthly payments may be very reasonable. On the other hand a homeowner who does not intend to keep the house much longer can’t look at such a hefty cost as a good idea unless the new HVAC system will result in an equal or greater boost in the sales price of the house.
There’s another thing to consider in all of this. If your system is leaking heavily then it’s not just costing money to recharge. It’s also releasing a chemical into the air in your house and ultimately into the atmosphere. And there is a good reason that the chemical was marked for phasing out in the first place. It certainly isn’t helping the environment to have it being released into the air from lots of older homes. For some homeowners that, coupled with the greater efficiency of newer HVAC systems from an energy use standpoint, is enough to make the cost of the new system acceptable.
Considering that you are on a website devoted to home warranties, you may already know what a home warranty is. It is essentially a service contract that agrees to provide you with repair/replacement services for appliances or systems in your home. Most homeowners wonder whether annual premiums are put to better use if they are set aside as emergency fund instead of being paid to warranty providers, hoping that they will come to the rescue if a breakdown happens. The question here is, what if the annual premium is paid and no claim is raised in that year? This article will address the question in detail.
A home warranty company maintains a network of technicians and service vendors, who are dispatched to a customer’s house as and when a claim is raised. The customer is often charged only a service call fee and not the entire expense of fixing a damage. Here’s how home warranty benefits the homeowner–
What they fail to recognize is the very real potential that they will spend more than a few years’ home warranty premiums when a major appliance or system component breaks down without any service contract coverage. Don’t you think it’s worth?
Many homeowners have expressed concerns about the annual premium that is paid for a year in which no claim was made by them. However, what they fail to recognize is the very real potential that they will spend more than a few years’ worth of home warranty premiums when a major appliance or system component breaks down without any service contract coverage. Minus a warranty, an average repair cost would be around $500-$1000 for a typical household appliance. Replacing would definitely cost more, sometimes several years worth of annual premiums.
As you can see, annual premiums seem like a very small fee in comparison with the amount you would have to pay if an appliance breaks down.
Let’s take an example of a typical homeowner, we’ll call him Mr. Bond. Mr. Bond believed that setting aside $400 every year for emergency repairs would make more sense than purchasing a home warranty plan. Three years into this practice, his HVAC unit decided to call quits. Mr. Bond asks around and finds out (to his dismay) that a high end HVAC system would cost around $5,800. He had saved up around $1200 and all of that wouldn’t help him get a new one.
Had the story been different and if Mr. Bond had opted for a home warranty instead, he could’ve had the replacement done at a fraction of the cost.
The only time it doesn’t make sense to opt for a home warranty over saving that money is when your house and the appliances in it are new. As a rule, home warranty is only recommended for folks whose house and its contents are over four years old. If you belong to this category, then the chances of your appliances or systems breaking down are low. So paying annual premium to a home warranty provider may not make sense, especially when many of the appliances at your house are still under warranty.
If you meet any of the conditions mentioned below, buying a home warranty will likely provide you with budget protection and not to mention, feeling of confidence. Here are the parameters-
If you meet any one of the above mentioned conditions, you will probably benefit from an appliance warranty. As long as you go with a company that is reputable, you should find yourself with nothing but pleasant outcomes.
If you are still unsure, we suggest that you look into our guide for home warranty buyers. Once you do that, you may want to look at some of the best home warranty companies in the country to get things started. Should you have any concerns, don’t hesitate to holler at us. Cheers!
In a quite short period of time, home protection plan have grown considerably in recognition. Today, the plans are almost standard in every city real estate transactions, where 8 of every 10 homes sales are covered. Homeownership can be one of life’s many pleasures, but it’s not always cheap. Most likely the last thing a homebuyer wants to do after closing on their new home is to shell out even more money on appliances or systems that unpredictably break or malfunction. It’s a usual part of being a homeowner, though, and procuring a home warranty protection plan is one way you can attain some peace of mind.
When your appliance breaks down, don’t worry about whom to call to fix it, or what it will cost. There are various options by which you can protect your budget from pricey emergency repairs.
Want to know how home warranty works? Watch this video –
Home warranty plans, also called home protection plans, are basically service contracts or insurance policies that cover major appliances and systems of a home. It’s a good idea if you are a first time home buyer without any understanding in maintaining a home or property. Homeowners insurance does not cover breakdown of a home’s major systems or appliances, but a home warranty protection plan can help with repair expenses such as refrigerator that stops running, or your air conditioning system breaks down in the middle of the night.
When a breakdown happens that involves a system covered by the home warranty plan, the homeowner calls the insurance firm and desires a service call. The cost of the service call, which ranges from $35 to $95 per visit based on your location, is salaried by the owner. The warranty company allots the call to an approved contractor, and the home protection company shells out for the system repair or replacement.
Home warranties naturally cover the mechanical systems of a home such as heating, plumbing, water heater and most built-in appliances. Structural components and pre-existing conditions are usually are not covered. For instance, if the water heater hasn’t worked properly for some time, it possibly that it won’t be covered in the buyer’s home warranty plan. Other items which are typically not covered include faucet repairs, sprinklers and permit fees. Some home warranty cover roof repairs and garage door openers with certain limits.
Another common problem with home warranties is that you will not be able to decide the repair provider that will care of your problem while the warranty is in effect. Normally, if a covered item breaks down, you will put notify your home warranty company, which will select a service provider with which it has an agreement.
Additional coverage is accessible under most home warranties at an extra charge for a spa, pool, air conditioning and freestanding appliances, such as washer, refrigerator and dryer.
Coverage usually runs for a year, but it may be extended at the owner’s choice for a renewal fee. Some people keep their home warranty policy in position for years and years. If the home protection plan is ordered at the time a home is bought, inspections are normally not required.
If you don’t want to have to be anxious about repairs in your first year of home ownership, a home warranty may be a good idea. However, it is imperative to weigh up your warranty, to ensure that you will be properly covered.
Know the basics of home warranty.
Extended warranties, by providing protection for pricey purchases and increasing the span of a product’s original warranty, have become the standard for many retailers. These warranties often appeal to economical consumers, for whom purchasing big-ticket items like appliances and electronics can be a challenging decision.
An extended warranty or service contract is like an insurance policy – your savings buys off only when the most evil happens. But do you actually want one? These days, almost all the brand – name appliances are sturdily – built and generally last their usual life span with few or no repairs, rendering extended warranties pointless. In case you do choose to get one, ensure that you do your homework.
There might be instances where an extended warranty is affordably priced and makes up for a limited warranty that covers little ground and has short period of time, and thus, is worth it. But too often, they are a waste of money. Before you purchase an extended warranty, ask yourself the following questions:
You frequently forget that while your product may certainly break down later on, the price of the product will also depreciate later on. Only when the forecasted cost of replacement or repairs become considerably greater than the present cost of the extended warranty, should one consider buying the extended warranty. And still, a warranty must only be thought out if there is also a significant chance that the appliance will stop working in the first place!
Certainly, warranties are significant and you must always ensure that when you buy pricey appliances – like clothes dryer for example – that it has a warranty to follow with it. But if a salesperson is attempting to get you to buy an additional extended warranty, be doubtful. Think about sales and advertising. There is always an income motive and retailers and merchandisers can regularly make money off consumers when they purchase extended warranties than when they buy replacement products or pay for repairs! This is why third party companies and retail stores provide extended warranties, not the manufacturers.
Think about sales and advertising. There is always a profit motive and retailers and merchandisers can often make more money off of consumers when they buy extended warranties than when they buy replacement products or pay for repairs! This is why retail stores and third-party companies offer extended warranties, not the manufacturers themselves.
The moral of the story is that you must do a little math and significant thinking prior to buying an extended warranty. Possibly it will be a wise purchase, and may be the money will be better used up toward other services or products.
Don’t lose your cool over unforeseen home repairs; call the experts for a home service contract. One such company that provides Service Contract is Service America. Never again will you have to worry yourself with the hassle and high cost of unforeseen repairs.
Service America is protecting its customers from unpredicted air conditioning, appliance and plumbing repairs for over 38 years saving them a ton of money, time and unnecessary frustration. When something breaks down at home, it becomes necessary for you to rush and find the right technician to fix the problem. Many times it’s an urgent situation and you don’t have the comfort of shopping around for the best price. But you can avoid these types of stressful circumstances, save money and experience peace of mind at the same time by buying a Service Contract.
A Service America Service Contract covers all these appliances and services for just one low yearly cost.
Quoting and buying a service contract takes a few minutes but expectantly you will find it effortless. In order to obtain the best possible coverage you need to give basic information about your home.
In the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) industry, equipment servicing is generally headed by the issuance of HVAC service contracts. The key purpose of this is to describe the terms of service as well as the cost, the length of service and what requires to be done, and each package of contracts is exclusive to each type of service. These service contracts incorporate full-coverage, full-labor, preventative-maintenance, inspection contracts, and end-use contracts.
All of these HVAC service contracts cover the tasks of each party, material cost, wages and how to decide arguments with a complete document. The equipment, procedures, tasks, unique descriptions and reports on the precise work to be done ought to be covered as well. Every contract also sketches processes and details the responsibilities of the contractor and owner. Regardless of which contract is signed, there can be several contracts put into practice for the same parties at any given time.
Appliances are a vital component of a well running home, as they are utilized every day. When they stop working, an appliance repair professional is able to restore the item to full working order. Along with repairs, professionals will regularly service your appliances to make sure that they run as safely and efficiently as possible.
Appliance repair professionals can render the following services amongst others:
While hiring your appliance repair professional, make sure that you get a quote on the work that needs to be performed. Ensure that the quote incorporates the call out fee and the cost of any parts that must be replaced. The professional must also be ready to give assurance of their work for a certain period of time. It’s good idea to investigate several repair pros in your area and pick the one that offers experienced technicians, reasonable prices, and good customer service. Always make sure that the professional is insured and licensed.
A thing of beauty is a joy forever. So are plants. Having indoor plants at home or workplace adds color to your interiors, improves the quality of air and have calming effects. Since time immemorial plants have been and continue to be a subject of fascination. Ancient Greeks and Egyptians sent travellers in search of rare species of plants, and kept them indoors to prevent from harsh weather conditions, to beautify the royal spaces and to reap the never ending benefits offered by them.
According to a research by NASA many benefits of having indoor plants have been proven following are a few.
They have much more to offer than just aesthetics. Growing plants indoor can be amusing, with little care and maintenance one can grow healthy plants. Planning to get some plants indoor or already have and want to add on more? Here are few aspects to consider before buying.
Here is a list of few ideal indoor plants which are easy to maintain:
1. Cast iron plant (Aspidistra elatior)
2. Love palm (Chamaedorea Elegans)
3. Dragon tree (Dracaena species)
4. Mother-in-law’s tongue (Philodendron scandens)
5. Devil’s ivy (Scindapsus aureus)
6. Peace lily (Spathiphyllum wallisii)
All plants need water and sunlight to survive, but different plants require different amounts of each. Species to species plants differ and their needs too, it’s better to read up a bit about the plant you own in order it take care. Here are some factors to consider to grow healthy plants.
The most important requirement for any plant is the soil unless it is an aquatic plant. Garden soil and potting soil are not the same and garden soil gets hard at the room temperature and plants cannot survive. You can easily make soil for indoor plants at home by combining one part peat moss with two parts vermiculite or perlite. Add general-use slow-release fertilizer designed for indoor plants. Indoor plants also need regular fertilizing to maintain healthy growth. A great all-around fertilizer can be added to your watering can.
Remember to water your plants, but do not over do as there are chances that the roots will rot. Allow the water to drain from the plant’s container. Water when the top 1 inch of soil feels dry. Pour the water directly onto the soil and avoid wetting the foliage and then empty the drip tray.
Place the plants in an area where they receive sufficient sunlight, it varies depending on the plant variety. Most of them require medium or low sunlight. Therefore place these where they receive four to six hours of bright, indirect sunlight. Avoid placing them near drafty windows or doors or near heat and air vents.
Indoor plants can also thrive with the help of broad spectrum lights blue, red and orange are the best for their growth.
Pruning when required keeps your plants healthy, Pinch off dying flowers with your thumb and forefinger and remove any damaged or yellowing leaves.Remove wayward branches with secateurs if necessary.
They have been our source of food and essence of life, medicine to cure us of illnesses and lot more.Teaching your children to take care of plants can be a fun activity and they have a lot to learn in the process and develop positive qualities. Take care of your plants and they will in turn take care of you, keeping you healthy and happy.
How 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.
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.
If 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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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 it comes to acquiring plumbing skills, there’s no time like the present. The idea has crossed your mind before, but you did not make the time to do it. Study the great advice in this article, and you will be happy that you finally took the time to do so, if you ever have plumbing issues.
Learning how to put off plumbing problems such as bursting pipes, leaks, and clogged drains is simple with the right tools. Old and new homes similarly require year-round attention to plumbing details, so watching for the signs of plumbing troubles is a must.
Plumbing services can be pricey. Most homeowner want to do what they can to reduce how many time they have to call for help with their drains, pipes and other plumbing features. There are a few easy tips that you can pursue on a usual basis to lessen the need to use plumbing services in your home.
Always explore plumbers thoroughly before you make a decision to use their services. Sometimes plumbers will not be very good at their job, and can even make problems worse than they are. Ensure to look at online reviews, or ask for a referral from a family member or friend. To know more about these things check out our Home Maintenance guide.
If you pack a little knowledge and a few actions of the plumbing trade into your home care toolbox, you will be able to keep away from the kind of plumbing problems that can literally soak you.
Here are 8 tips for spotting and avoiding plumbing problems before they cause serious damage.
1. Leaky toilet. Toilet repairs are one of the most common plumbing problems. While the toilets themselves don’t tire out, the working parts inside them can. Leaks are a frequent result, and one leaky toilet can waste around 78,000 gallons of water a year, sufficient to fill up a backyard swimming pool!
In case you inspect a leak, test out your theory by pouring a bit of food coloring into the toilet’s tank and waiting overnight. In case the dye shows up in the bowl the next morning, you have got a leak and it’s time to put back the flush valve, an simple job that requires only a few dollars’ investment and a little of your time.
2. Clogging shower, tub or bathroom sink drain. Bathroom drains can get clogged quickly with hair and soap residue, which is not only a plumbing problem, but a cluttered one as well. Before you find yourself with a flooding backup, clear the way with a dry or wet vacuum, a useful trick of the trade that definitely beats time-consuming extraction with an auger.
3. Kitchen sink backup. Grease, cooking oil and other fats can literally gunk up the pipes in your kitchen sink, causing serious plumbing problems. In its place, be smart about waste disposal and outfit sinks with strainers to catch errant items and keep them clean. Occasionally flush the drain with a few gallons of boiling water to soften accumulated soap and grease. Applications of products like Roto Rooter’s Pipe Shield can also stop kitchen clogs.
4. Main shutoff valve. Your home’s plumbing system can have hundreds of different valves, but knowing the position of just one can avoid thousands of dollars in damage to a home. The main water valve regulates the flow of all water into your home and should work properly to prevent disaster.
To keep away from severe flooding if a plumbing problem were to occur, find the main water valve, which is generally located at the lowest level of your home near the street, then test the valve to ensure it turns off properly. Suspend a large tag labeled main valve from the valve handle to make sure all members of your household can find it before the flood sets in. In case the home will be vacant for a prolonged period of time; it’s smart to shut off this valve before leaving so as to avoid a plumbing problem when you return.
5. Laundry connection. Another important plumbing point that can be a possible problem is the set of rubber connection hoses on your washing machine, which can be a hazardously weak link in the system. These hoses can dry out, burst and allow thousands of gallons of water to rush into your home. In order to avoid this plumbing problem, check the hoses frequently for blisters and cracks, and be sure to turn off the water supply valves to the washer before leaving home for an extended period of time. Better yet, put back the hoses with steel models, and consider about installing an easy-to-reach, single-lever shutoff valve just for the washer.
6. Outdoor faucets. Keep an eye on outdoor faucets year-round to make sure they are not watering the property without your knowledge, and make repairs and replacements as needed. Once the freezing season begins, turn off all faucets and drain them for winter by loosening the brass cap on the side of each faucet’s valve.
7. Water heater. Water heaters have quite long life expectancies, but when one leaks, bursts or otherwise breaks down, you can be in for a waterlogged disaster. Check your water heater regularly for signs of rusting or leakage at tank fittings, and if you spot potential problem, call in a certified plumber for a more thorough check to decide whether repair or replacement is in order.
8. Old pipes. Based on the age of your home and the water lines running to it, pipes made from bygone materials can be main sources for leaks and clogs. Old terra cotta waste lines can be broken and invaded by roots, and steel pipes are apt to internal rusting that can create quite a buildup, ultimately bursting or reducing water pressure to intolerable levels.
Broken-down waste piping can be treated with two methods:
As for steel plumbing pipes, take every chance to substitute them with up to date materials. The main horizontal pipes running through the crawl space, running from your home to the street, and pipes leading to bathrooms should be at the top of your substitution list, and sectional upgrades can be done anytime you’re making a home repair that involves opening walls or floors.
Learning a bit about plumbing can be a priceless tool to have in your possession. With the right awareness about plumbing problems and the appliances that they involve, plumbing problem prevention is easy. It can even minimize the need to call a professional for repair services.
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.
Company: American Home Warranty (AHS)
Reviewed by: Jon, Jacksonville, Florida
As you review the responses contained here remember there are people who have relatively good and bad experiences. No one here should be gripping like our friend from Bowie, MD. Reading your contract, if its like mine is very simple. Getting maintenance if required is a service call to your provider and will cost you no different than a complaint call.
The point here is the point of a contract is to work in good faith. Unfortunately AHS doesn’t work in good faith.
AHS does however work diligently to minimize their costs to increase their profit margin as an INSURANCE company. They are hedging their bet the more difficult it is for you to go through them for repairs the more likely you will be to get a needed repair fixed yourself and forego the hassle of using their CSR’s. This is how any INSURANCE company works.
It is clearly not the fault of a person to believe they have paid for a degree of service as a contract states only to find the fine print states otherwise. This is why we need more fair contract laws. This is not a liberal or conservative point. It is a point that a company needs to be regulated properly and AHS is on a fringe between regulatory agencies. How did our country get in its current financial condition? Poor regulation and advice like that from our friend in MD.
Please use your own best diligence in considering a home warranty (insurance) policy. There are few firms who will do what a homeowner wants, but fewer still who will actually provide quality repair/replacment other than what they can get away with (breaking state and local ordinances on workmanship and unskilled work crews.)
Don’t become a poor service statistic, do your own diligence, call your provider, call back when you get your service call, call the service representative in advance to confirm and describe your service need, call and remind your warranty provider of the service you get and confirm the repair meets your local ordinances (ask an inspector to verify it!).
IF you do these things you’ll at least get complete and sound service. It may be on their schedule, which may not meet your expectation and it may not provide you with the expected solution you want but it will be complete. Miss anyone of these steps and you could find yourself out of pocket for both your warranty fees and additional service fees
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.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) allows several home related expenses to be deducted from income tax. While most homeowners enjoy tax exemption on expenses like mortgage interest, property taxes etc, some are unaware whether home warranty premiums are allowed deductions.
When some of our readers approached us with this question, we realized that this could be a common question among homeowners across the country. We have tried to address that concern up to the best of our ability and we hope that this article will clear up any confusion you had about such tax deductions.
As you may know, a home warranty is essentially a service contract that agrees to provide you with discounted repair and replacement services. In the United States of America, homeowners unfortunately do not enjoy the benefit of exemption on a home warranty premium you pay for your residence.
However, warranty premiums can be tax deductible if they are on an income producing building. Which means if your house is something like a home office or if it is a house that you have rented out, the premium you pay towards home warranty will be considered as a deductible expense.
A premium paid towards home warranty is considered as a pre-paid maintenance cost of your home and will therefore be non tax deductible. Which means that repairs and replacement costs, no matter how they are covered, will not be a valuable tax deduction.
If you are a tenant in some house that enjoys the protection of a home warranty plan you pay for, you will not be able to claim exemption on its premium. Only the owner will be able to consider premiums as deductible expense.
Even if you don’t have a home warranty or a home insurance policy, expenses towards repairing and replacing household appliances/ systems will be considered as maintenance costs and hence will not be tax-deductible.
In this case too, if the repair/replacement was needed for an income producing building/home, you may be able to claim an exemption.
Typically, no. IRS allows homeowners to deduct private mortgage interest from federal taxes. But, homeowner’s insurance premiums shall not receive tax exemption. Same applies to flood or title insurance. This is pretty much the way home warranty premiums work. Unless an income is generated by the building like in the case of rental properties or home office, you are out of luck.
IRS allows the following expenses to be considered as tax deductible expenses-
The following are considered as non-exemptible expenses-
We have noticed that it is a common practice to confuse home insurance and home warranty. While homeowner’s Insurance is mandatory for homes with mortgages, a home warranty is usually a choice. Though home warranty premiums may not help you save tax dollars, if your home and its contents are 4+ years old, they are a very wise purchase. Such service contracts provide you with discounted repairs and replacement services if your appliances/systems break down due to normal wear and tear, such damages are typically omitted by homeowner’s insurance. At the end of the day you save more money if you pay premiums for a warranty than if you pay for a repair/replacement job.
If you are worried that a home warranty is going to be expensive, we earnestly encourage you to use our website to get a free quote. You’ll be surprised to find that there are some companies that sell warranty products at compelling prices, some even at zero deductible rates. You can also browse through our site to compare plans and their features. While you are at it, don’t forget to take a look at top ten companies and our annual home warranty award winners!
Our readers are welcome to reach out to us should they have any questions or concerns. We hope that you found this article helpful and informative. Thank you!
Maintaining everything in the home is one of the major concerns homeowners have to deal with. Every homeowner worth his salt will tell you that the primary expenses incurred in the process of home maintenance are due to appliance and system faults.
Having said that, we’re sure that everyone has heard of Appliance / Home maintenance plans or simply put, home warranty plans. Such plans are contracts that agree to provide you with discounted repairs and replacement services for household appliances and systems. Do keep in mind that such plans are for ageing appliances that have suffered quite a bit of wear and tear over the years. Appliance warranties only cover damages that are due to age, wear and tear.
The working of such plans are quite simple. You purchase the warranty from a home service provider for a specific duration. During the coverage period, if your appliances / systems breaks down, you only need to call the your warranty provider. They will send a technician to fix your faulty item at just a nominal service charge fee. The actual cost of repairs will be borne by the company.
Hence, in many ways, a warranty is a wise way to protect your budget from unexpected expenses. To know more about home service contracts, read things to know about home warranty. You’ll find that helpful.
Now, coming to the actual problem that this article addresses, cost of home maintenance plans. In general such appliance warranties are affordable and reasonably priced. Most companies offer a specific set of plans from which you can choose, based on your requirements.
The annual premiums for a home service contract ranges between $200 – $ 600, for a home under 5,000 sq.ft. When you purchase a plan, you will be provided with a policy booklet that explicitly specifies all the items that will be covered. You will also be provided with information about various other terms and conditions. Like we said before, home service contracts do not cover damages due to anything other than age and regular use. For faults due to crime, hazards and other perils, you may want to check the difference between home insurance and home warranty.
In addition to the annual premium, you may also have to pay a nominal fee as the deductible each time you raise an issue. Deductibles usually cost between $50 – $100. There are some companies that offer zero deductible appliance protection plans
Like we discussed before, different providers charge different amounts for their plans. Following are the facts that decide the cost of home warranty.
If you want to purchase a home warranty plan, we suggest that you get your home inspected first. While some companies offer this service prior to the contract being signed, some companies do not. A home inspection reveals a lot of potential problems that your house may face and the inspector may even recommend a plan to make the best out of home warranty.
If you are still unsure about home warranty, we suggest that you go through our web site and read some informative articles that may help you solve some confusion. That said, we still think that a home warranty is a clever way to protect your appliances and save cash in the process. Cheers!
Adding to a long list of home warranty companies which have entered the home service contract space only to quickly exit, Stanley Warranty announced recently that the company is immediately terminating its services. Visitors to Stanley’s website see this message:
The company’s closing may come as little surprise to those who are aware of last year’s announcement of an investigation into the new company’s business practices. In June 2015 New Jersey’s Division of Consumer Affairs announced that it had filed a complaint against Stanley Warranty, LLC, alleging that the company had committed acts contrary to its contractual commitments to its customers. Among the state’s specific complaints against the company were alleged offenses that specifically involved Stanley’s home service contract customers. Stanley also operated a business unit which provided consumers with extended service agreements for motor vehicles, commonly called auto warranties.
Here’s a quick analysis that we can provide to readers seeking more information about Stanley Warranty’s abrupt closure and the precedences set by other companies that pulled this same move in recent years. Come back to HomeWarrantyReviews.com for updates as we learn more about the fallout from Stanley Warranty’s announcement.
Like Sensible Home Warranty did in 2014 when it closed shop, Stanley provided no apparent warning to their customers that pre-paid services would not be provided, though at this time it’s still unclear to HomeWarrantyReviews.com whether the company contacted customers via telephone or postal mail prior to closing its doors. It’s also not known yet whether Stanley’s failure to uphold its commitment to any pre-paid customers will compound the company’s problems with New Jersey’s consumer agency.
Another company in the home warranty space that closed its doors in 2014, Colonial Home Warranty, sought bankruptcy protection. Through bankruptcy, the company appears to have been able to escape financial responsibility for unfulfilled service contracts and repair bills from their contractors. Whether or not Stanley Warranty will seek similar protection is not clear at this time.
Reviews for Stanley Warranty, also known as Stanley Safe Club, here on HomeWarrantyReviews.com are almost entirely negative. The reviews reflect an apparent trend of the company not honoring its promises to customers or contractors who performed repairs on its behalf. Many of the worst reviews mention repair contractors pursuing payments from the homeowners after Stanley Warranty failed to fulfill its duty to make those payments in a timely manner.
On its Better Business Bureau page, Stanley Warranty already had an F rating prior to the announcement of its cessation of services to its customers. On Yelp, a recent review includes a comment about a refund check from the company to the customer, who had canceled services ahead of the expiration of the contract period, being denied due to insufficient funds. That review was created in December of 2015, leading to the obvious question whether or not Stanley was insolvent well before it closed its doors in 2016. Interestingly, reading past reviews on Yelp leads you to at least one claim in 2014 that Stanley Warranty had announced on its company website that it was closing. And no matter how far back in time a reader travels on Yelp, the story seems to be consistently poor, one unhappy customer after another.
Perhaps the most insulting element of this story is that Stanley Warranty sold its service contracts with a promise of zero service fees. Anyone familiar with the home service contract industry knows that most companies charge a fee, paid by the customer to the service provider, at the time of a service call. For a company to offer competitive rates with no service fees is a pretty compelling deal for consumers. And many of the consumers lured in by that deal are now left with every required repair being paid entirely out of their own pockets, despite having paid well in advance for home service contracts from this company.
The home warranty industry has a history of companies like Stanley Warranty popping in and out of the space and taking loads of customers’ money out the door when the companies fold or burning up the money received from customers through mismanagement and unhedged risks. Consumers who have been buying home warranties for years probably recognize some of the company names, ones like Arkidus, Sensible Home Warranty, Colonial Home Warranty, and Certified Warranties Corporation. All of these companies have something in common. They sold home service contracts right up until the day they shut the office lights off and locked the doors.
This may be the single biggest black eye that the home warranty industry has received in the last decade, and it just keeps happening. As if companies being able to enter an industry that is so much like insurance, often undetected by the state agencies that regulate their industry, improperly funded, and perhaps even criminally intent on defrauding their customers is not enough, the end result of the companies is consumers left with financial losses sometimes amounting to thousands of dollars in service contract fees paid in advance. All too often the regulators in the states where the customers live are powerless to retrieve those customers’ funds, and even when bankruptcy courts are involved the individual consumer is usually out of luck when liquidated assets are divided up among registered claimants.
In a nutshell, the chance of Stanley Warranty’s customers seeing refunds is very, very slim. It’s quite likely that this story will end the same way it did for customers of Sensible Home Warranty in 2014 when that company disappeared overnight. But that should not stop consumers willing to do whatever they can to seek justice. Readers who wish to pursue legal action should immediately seek advice from an attorney, preferably one with experience with defunct service contract companies.
If there’s any worthwhile piece of advice we can give to our readers who are shopping for a home warranty company it’s this:
Do your homework! Despite it not always being easy to do, consumers must research companies in the home service contract space before making a purchase. Here’s an example of the kind of detailed reporting available to consumers trying to evaluate the financial health of companies selling home service contracts in the United States. That article by Warranty Week is an excellent resource. Keep in mind that if the home warranty company you choose is using its sales to finance its claims then you can probably count on two things happening. One, the company will do whatever it can to avoid paying your claims. Two, the company will eventually get into hot water and close up quickly in order to try to avoid the owners bearing personal responsibility for the actions of the company.
Be safe out there. And if you are a Stanley Warranty customer who would like to share information with other readers in the same boat as you then please share your story in the comments section below.
Life is certainly unpredictable, you cannot control the outcome but surely can prepare yourself through careful planning and minimize the risk and be on the safer side. Insurance is one such protection mechanism which covers major expenses with an understanding that you will pay a smaller fee as a premium.
An insurance is a contract in which an individual receives financial protection or reimbursement against losses from an insurance company against the payment of a premium.
We have an inherent need to protect ourselves and our family, so why not buy insurance and secure the unknown future. According to needs you have various insurances. Some are a must while others are worth. Here is a quick tour into the world of insurance policies.
As the term suggests you are insuring your life with a certain amount. It is an insurance that pays out a sum of money either on the unfortunate death of the insured person or after a set period.
It is a type of insurance coverage that pays for medical and surgical expenses that are incurred by the insurer. Health insurance can either reimburse the insured for expenses incurred for illnesses or injury or pay the care provider directly.
It is an insurance for all your automobiles against theft and accidents.
A home warranty is a contract for repair and replacement of major home appliances such as refrigerator, washing machine, garbage disposal etc. on payment of a premium.
This insurance covers the home including the structural elements as well as the valuables inside the home. However, you can claim this insurance only where there is a natural disaster such as flood, fire etc. Please note that this does not cover the appliance repair and replacement costs.
Often Home warranty and insurance are thought to be similar but they are completely different in the coverage they provide. Home insurance is a must to have whereas home warranty you can choose to get.
When it comes to insurances you have a plethora of options to choose. From travel insurance to disability insurance etc, you can choose and plan according to your needs. All insurances have advantages and disadvantages but insurance no matter which protects your peace of mind. While buying insurance always make sure to do a background check of companies you are dealing with and read the reviews and fine print thoroughly.
Click here to check for Home Insurance and warranty companies.
Future is unpredictable yet securable therefore get insured stay assured.
This infographic depicts the most basic definition of what a Home Warranty is all about. Although the title says that it is for dummies, we’re sure that even people with average/ above average intelligence can keep up!
Now, an appliance warranty is a form of protection your purchase for your household appliances and systems. It is a contract that offers to provide you discounted repair and replacement services should your device sustain any damages.
As you can see in the infographic, all major systems and appliances are covered. Now that would include refrigerator, built in ovens and microwaves, washer/ dryer, HVAC units and major systems like plumbing and electrical units. Additional coverage can always be purchased, so you can rest assured that all your devices can be protected!
This is how it works. When your covered device gets damaged, you simply place a call to the warranty company explaining your situation. If the damage is not an excluded one, your claim will be taken up. The warranty company then sends a technician to your home to fix the damage.
Let’s discuss the claims part. Like we said, when you notice a damage, all you need to do is inform the warranty company about it. Did you notice that title saying “Common reasons for claim denials”? Yes it is true. Although this does not happen often, it is still noticed that companies often deny claims. The grounds for claim denial varies from company to company and can be understood only after you go through their policy booklet.
However, common reasons for denial are as follows
Don’t worry too much about it. If you choose a reputable company, chances are low that your claims will be unjustly denied.
Moving on, let’s discuss the premiums and deductibles involved. As the image says, the annual premium for most basic warranty plans are somewhere in the range of $250- $500. This can vary depending on the extent of coverage. Larger the coverage, higher the premium.
Each time you raise an issue, you will be expected to pay a deductible/ service call fee (it’s nominal, around $50). The happy news is that there are some companies offering plans at zero deductible.
So there! That’s what the infographic is all about. Isn’t it an awesome image? Cheers!
Planning to sell your home and hoping to get top dollar for it? You’ve come to the right place! Selling a home often requires as much thought and consideration as buying one, especially if you are trying to fetch a good price for it. Thankfully, these are a set of pointers you can go through to ensure that you get a good deal. So, sit back, read and get to know how a home can be sold for a great price!
Any transaction that involves real estate should be researched well. Selling a home for top dollar is no different. You could begin with finding out what the average market value is for homes in your neighborhood. You could also pick a real estate agent to help you with the sale of property. Real estate agents always stay updated about prices and know the vibe of the crowd.
If you do not want to appoint an agent, you can use the old-school method and gather information from friends and family. You should also do some research on the amenities available in the neighborhood as such matters affect the sales price of your house.
The Internet is also a very good place to begin your research. You can also make use of online portals to list your house. This will give better visibility and might help you get an idea about prices of houses in your neighborhood.
Many factors should be considered while pricing your house for sale. Apart from obvious factors like size, amenities, and age of the home, there are factors like facilities in the neighborhood, proximity to schools/hospitals/parks, connectivity, and history of the locality. Again, internet research will help you with this task and probably be worthy of your time for those top dollars of your home. There are online tools which give you an estimate of the sales price of your home after you provide details.
If you have listed your property on an online marketplace, be sure to keep checking in often. Events that happen in your neighborhood like crimes or accidents could adversely affect your listing. Staying updated is key here. Also, unless you fix the right price, a good deal can never happen.
If you have placed an ad for your property in print or online media, there is a good chance that many potential buyers will try to contact you to collect information. These folks are also going to negotiate with you to drop the price. While making a small reduction is fine, dropping the price by a large margin could get the buyer suspicious. He/she will begin to wonder if the house is truly worth top dollars if you drop the price without much fuss. The general trend among sellers is to price the house a little above the market value. That way, even if a buyer makes a request to reduce the price, the deal will still be good.
Like we said before, real estate agents are of huge help when it comes to negotiating. In fact, the entire negotiation can happen with the agent alone leaving you free of the task of having lengthy conversations with the buyer.
Everybody loves add-ons, more so when it comes to property. This is a step which is almost guaranteed to increase the selling price of your home. Research has found that a home warranty plan definitely increases the sales price of your house. These plans not only protect your budget, they will also relieve the seller from future disputes. If an appliance in your home fails, the new homeowner will simply contact the warranty provider and not the seller.
You can also put in more shelves or racks to increase storage. Most people are huge fans of ample storage and hence, it could compel people to buy your property. Replacing old appliances will also help sell your home faster.
Nobody wants a house that looks old and spooky. Peeling paint, squeaky doors – in general, anything that looks like the Amityville horror house will be seen as a huge turn-off. It could repel potential buyers. A fresh coat of paint is almost mandatory for the house before it goes on the market. You could also enhance the external appearance of the home by improving the garden (if you have one) or you can add some other landscape detailing. You could also renovate the bathrooms (if they are old) or the kitchen for faster sales. The money you spend on upgrading your home can be reaped back once you sell the property. Trust us, decorating your apartment creatively helps lure in buyers!
Unless you use the services of an agent, your home could be in the market for some time. Do not let that prompt you to drop the prices drastically. A good deal will definitely come by. In the meantime, read up on various home maintenance guides to give your home a thorough upkeep. You could also get a home inspection done as a home inspection report is something that potential buyers would want. That’s all! Hope you strike a very good deal!
An offshoot of Home Warranty, Structural Warranty is a legal agreement between the builder of the home and you – the owner. Structural Warranty functions basically in the case of new homes, wherein the builder assures that the home he has built will have no structural defects for a period of ten years after its construction. His claim is covered by the company which offers him warranty coverage for the building, at times additionally including workmanship and internal systems.
The system functions just like Insurance, but covers defects which may occur due to age and wear and tear, not natural disasters or unforeseen circumstances. Like the Home Warranty covers the items in a home – its appliances, wiring and plumbing systems, interiors etc. – Structural Warranty covers elements like the foundation, girders and beams, roofing, and flooring.
Before the purchase of a home, it is advised for either the new owner, seller or realtor to purchase Home Warranty, in order to establish a relationship of trust and confidence in both parties involved. Just as a Home Warranty leaves the new owner knowing that his home and all that is in it is secure for at least a year after its purchase, Structural Warranty establishes the same sense of security in the buyer of a new home straight from a builder.
It is rather simple – all structural defects are now to be fixed by the company that the Warranty has been purchased from or by the builder offering the warranty himself, and as long as the terms and conditions are met, neither the builder nor the new owner is liable.
We see before our eyes appliances, electrical systems and plumbing leaks occur every once in awhile – but most of the time structural damage is noticeable only after it is too late. Given that large parts of the US are known to have soil that expands with seasonal changes, statistics show that more than 25% of all buildings in the country experience some kind of structural damage during the first decade of their life, almost 10% of this being major and often irreversible.
It isn’t always about how reputable the builder is, in fact, the more reliable the builder the higher the chances are of them investing in warranty for the homes they have built. Years after a deal is signed, sealed and delivered, a matter like soil expansion that is out of the hands of both the parties can spring up, making Structural Warranty the only way to guard against massive expenditure out of your own pocket in the future. Studies show that the warranty is most often claimed 4 to 7 years after a home is built to completion.
The chances of an individual investing a sum as large as the cost of a home in anything else in his or her lifetime is very slim, making this purchase one that could develop complications if not done right. Builder’s offering Structural Warranty for the home they have built can not only assure the buyer of their expertise but also give them a legal document to go back to in case frivolous lawsuits or complaints are lodged. Like in the case of any two-way agreement, responsibilities, terms, and conditions are clearly outlined.
If a third party company is used to establish a warranty, then any complaints, disputes or discussions will be handled by them – until the point of reconciliation. This saves time and discomfort for both parties involved, especially the builder.
If you happen to be a builder with larger holdings or varied properties and houses, then the value of each building is sure to increase if Structural Warranty is added to the mix. Use it as a marketing strategy, one that is true to every word and will help you build lasting relationships with your clients.
Structural Warranty functions according to the guidelines of the Housing and Urban Development department of the US, which stipulates particular criteria within which a company must cover damages. Larger builders may choose to provide their own Structural Warranty schemes to the buyer, while builders without a department to handle such claims or smaller building agencies may choose to use third-party warranty companies. Even more so than Home Warranty claims and structures, Structural Warranty coverage and insurance backing vary drastically from builder to builder and company to company. If you happen to be a part of the decision making of who to choose, make sure you do your research and pick a coverage that is extensive and appropriate to your home.
If you go through a Structural Warranty contract or guide, you will notice one important point – the extremely specific and near legal language used to describe what that particular company or builder covers. Structural Warranty owes this specificity to regulations set by the Housing and Urban Development Department of the US, as well as to the builders’ need to protect themselves from futile claims and lawsuits.
Due to each Structural Warranty being unique (much like Home Warranties state-wise laws), we will get into what the warranty covers in general. Know that this isn’t ironclad, and you have to cross check the terms and conditions with your builder.
As a whole, third-party companies offer two kinds of warranty, one which accounts for any damage to the structure of the building from the moment the deal is closed between the builder and buyer. The second stipulates that the company will only begin to cover damage to the home 3 to 4 years post the sale, implying that any structural damage before then is up to the builder to fix.
Each company usually has a base plan and other additional perks that you can choose to opt for.
The basic coverage usually covers the following:
The last of these, load bearing partitions, are often accompanied by the additional coverage of non-load bearing partitions. These claims are almost purely cosmetic, and certain Structural Warranty companies do assure the fixing of these, keeping in mind the original material integrity of the home.
Integral to any warranty and insurance difference, Structural Warranty doesn’t cover any damage due to natural disaster, accidents or unforeseen circumstances; anything that is covered under insurance, basically.
Lastly, any structures added to the original home – an extension, outhouse and detached garage space for examples – would not be covered. If the need is felt, the builder could then purchase a separate Structural Home Improvement Warranty.
Individual state laws in the US tackle Structural Warranty in different ways, making the cost different in each state as well. On an average, if the basic warranty is purchased, then it shouldn’t cost more than 1% of the purchase cost of the home. In most states which are positioned in low-risk areas (minimal soil expansion, etc.), the price is only about half a percent of the home’s price, whereas in high-risk zones the price can go up to 1.5% to 2%.
When looked at it in terms of a median example, while Structural Warranty would cost anywhere between $500 and $1500 for ten years, the repair in case of structural damage could be between $50,000 and $100,000; Structural Warranty being about one percent of the estimated repair budget.
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.