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!
HomeWarrantyReviews.com has, for many years now, been the only place online that homeowners could trust for free reviews and ratings of home service contract companies in the U.S. That is changing, as companies like Yelp offer consumers reviews on a great diversity of different products and services, home warranty included. In the past we did our best to help our readers with their decisions, making it possible for them to find ratings and reviews from real customers for a wide range of home warranty companies. But we know that consumers today need more than just reviews. Readers need to know that the products or services they’re considering are worthwhile and worth the expense. That’s where our new calculator can help homeowners who are not yet certain they need a home warranty.
Before we start going into the details of how our calculator can help with the decision to buy or not buy a home warranty, let’s look at the home appliance maintenance calculator page for a moment.
The calculator is designed to give the user a fairly accurate estimate of two costs. One is the cost of a home warranty, and the other is the cost of annual home repairs. These are only estimates, of course, but they’re based on data that we believe is fairly close to what the average homeowner will incur in annual repair costs versus the average cost of a home warranty and its service call fees. For a homeowner trying to decide what to do in advance of things around the house breaking, it’s extremely helpful to have a calculator like this. That’s why we took the time to create it and share it with our readers.
Here’s how it works for the user:
There are three tabs present in the calculator, and each one helps with a different part of the decision a reader may be making about a home warranty purchase.
The first tab calculates the estimated annual appliance maintenance cost. It allows the user the option of customizing the cost settings or using the default settings, with regard to the age of the house, the age of certain parts of it which might be covered by the service contract, etc. These defaults are often perfectly suited to a house, but when they’re not then the customization becomes important. Changing the defaults to the exact specifications of the user’s own home will produce an even more refined result and give better insight into the estimated cost of a home warranty versus the estimated cost of average out of pocket repairs.
The second tab provides the estimated average home warranty cost. It is broken down visually in a pie chart, so it’s easier for a reader to gather how much of the cost is service call fees, typically paid to the repair technicians, and how much is the premium paid to the company.
The third tab shows the estimated average home repair costs, the out of pocket costs a user might expect to pay out of his or her own pocket each year for unexpected problems around the house. Side by side with this estimate is the home warranty cost from the second tab. Again, there’s a helpful chart which makes it clear which estimated cost is greater.
In addition to the basic items covered on the list of things that influence the price of the home warranty on tab one, there are also appliances that a user can choose to add. In addition to that, a user of the calculator may also choose to select a zero dollar service call fee on tab one, something that comes in handy when talking with companies that offer their customers this lucrative incentive to buy.
What about users of the calculator who know that their service is more than the $60 factored into these calculations? That’s a pretty easy problem to fix. Assume that a typical homeowner will file four service claims per year. With that assumption, simply multiple the amount over $60 by 4 and add that to the home warranty cost in the second tab. So, for a homeowner who has an estimated annual cost of $650 for a home service contract, including the service call fees (or deductibles) the math needed for a service call fee of $100 would look like this:
By simply adding in the different amount you pay for service call fees a user can make this calculator’s results even more precise than before. And customizations don’t need to stop there. A homeowner who knows he or she has more or less than four service calls per year may make those adjustments as well. The calculator does a lot of the work in estimating average savings with a home warranty. But any precise detail a user can add in will help in making a more informed decision about whether to buy a home warranty or put money in savings to cover future repairs.
Readers who try out the calculator may want to read more about how much they might save with a home service contract. To learn more about this, here on HomeWarrantyReviews.com, check out this helpful article about the things that affect a homeowner’s savings from a home warranty. Combining the information from that article with results from the calculator can really help with what might otherwise be a tough choice.
And the help we can offer our readers does not end there.
Take a look at the comparison banner at the bottom of the calculator. It’s visible under each tab. By clicking on it, users can quickly begin to compare companies that provide home service contracts. To do that, click on the banner, or just click here to compare the top ten home warranty companies. To fine tune your results, just follow these steps.
HomeWarrantyReviews.com is proud to offer the home appliance maintenance calculator and the company comparison tools. And of course, our main mission is to bring our readers first-hand experiences from other consumers who have bought home service contracts and filed claims with specific companies reviewed and rated here on our website. We invite readers to take advantage of the tremendous amount of information here on our website and make the most informed decisions possible about their home warranty purchases!
Do you have a trusted appliance lying around your household for the past few years that you don’t want to give away or replace? Yet you are worried that it’s going to crash pretty soon leaving you with no other option other than repairing it or replacing it with a new one? Fret not! This article will shed some light on how to insure your household appliances against potential breakdowns
Let’s begin by comparing Home Warranty from the Homeowner’s insurance policy. The primary difference between the two is that Home Warranty covers repairs and replacements of failed appliances and systems, while the the Homeowner’s Insurance covers damages caused to your home and its content by natural hazards or theft. You can always find a contractor to repair your damaged appliances, but more often than not the costs involved in such scenarios are rather high. The other option that you have is to apply for a Home Warranty plan.
The Home Warranty plan is a contract of service that covers repairs and replacement of appliances and systems in your home. Depending on the kind and extent of coverage you wish to avail, the annual premium for the Home Warranty plan can range anywhere between $ 250 to $ 450. In addition, each time you approach the warranty company for a service, you have to pay a service fee usually called as the deductible. This is around $ 50. You can take a look at the table below if you want to know he systems and appliances that are covered under the Home Warranty Plans.
If you have doubts regarding whether or not your appliances need a Home Warranty Plan right now, take a look at the following chart. It tells you what the average lifespan of the common household appliances.
Now lets discuss the most important question.
Let me clear the former first. You have two options, you can either avail an extended warranty for each appliance or you can get a Home Warranty which covers all your appliances. Although, getting extended warranty on each appliance is not a wise decision, the best way out is to get a Home Warranty.It is also suggested that if your appliances are not new and over four years old, getting a Home Warranty will turn out to be highly useful. However, if your home and the appliances you own are reasonably new and still covered by the Manufacturers warranty, you may want to consider taking an extended warranty. You can click here for further details and comparisons between the two.
If you are wondering how this works then here’s the answer. The company offering a Home Warranty plans often sign contracts with vendors offering repair services to appliances. Each time you approach your warranty provider with a claim, they call up these repair facilities which in turn sends a technician to evaluate the condition of your appliance.He shall decide if your appliance needs to be repaired or replaced.Service charges(deductible fee) of the technician shall be paid by you and it is always nominal.
If you have read so far, then it would mean that you are genuinely interested to know as much as possible about Home Warranty plans. Few hiccups that you may encounter are as follows:
It is again stressed that you read your contract carefully and have it looked over multiple times , paying immense attention to the monetary factors.
Despite the issues that were mentioned, it is advised that you insure your appliances by availing a Home Warranty Plan. Costs incurred during repairs and replacements can be considerably reduced if you have a sound Appliance Protection plan. Also, if you choose to sell your home while the Home Warranty plan is still valid, the value of the property is likely to be higher than when it is sold without a Home Warranty. Most buyers recommend strongly in favor of Home Warranty plans. You are likely to do the same if your choice of home warranty provider is good.
Here is the summary of benefits you shall have if you avail a Home Warranty Plan
May it be reminded again that reading the contract well is of utmost importance. You can get a free estimate on home warranty from top rated companies on our website before you purchase the plan.
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 bathroom is one of the most important places at any home. A place to relax, rejuvenate and unwind. A clean and well maintained bathroom is a sign of physical and mental well being of a family.
With time the structure and appliances grow old and no longer have the same appeal. Chipped walls, dull sanitary ware, old flooring, leaky taps, rusted pipes can put you off. An old and dirty bathroom can be a big embarrassment. Does this sound like your situation? Do you think twice before answering when your guests ask, can I use your washroom?
Then its time for you to consider renovating it. Thoughtful re-designing can make it spacious and provide more storage. Renovation also adds value to your home if you plan to sell.
Options are endless when it comes to remodeling bathrooms as there is a wide scope for improvement. The combination of plumbing, electrical wiring, and decorating schemes packed into the smallest residential spaces create unique demand for its renewal.
If it needs to be restructured then everything has to be discarded and built from scratch. But if the layout is fine and the waterproofing is sound, then it will not cost you a fortune. A dramatic difference can be made by simply changing the color scheme, re-tiling over the old floor, replacing cabinets and sanitary ware. There are even resurfacing products that can put a new surface over old colored tiles or chipped and outdated bathtubs.
Before you rush to speak to a renovation company and ask for quotes, it is very important to do your research. The variety of renovation options can be overwhelming including the infinite choices of baths, showers, toilets, taps, shower heads, tiles, paint colors, mirrors, splash backs, etc. The more determined and clear with ideas you are in what you require from your renovation, the more likely you will be of getting the one that you always wanted.
The secret to your dream bathroom is detailed specifications. While tabulating what you require, consider this questions.
Now you have a foolproof plan of what exactly you want. Wondering what next? It might come in handy to consult your friends and relatives who have got renovation done from potential and reputed contractors. Do your research and be sure that you opt for the army of people you would want to hire to transform it.
Typically it would cost between $9,000 and $25,000 depending on a number of factors such as:
The next step is to choose the sanitary wares and fixtures. If your existing ones are in decent condition then you can make them look new.
All you need to do is wash and scrub with an abrasive cleanser, Lime-A-Way. Then sand on them. The final stage is to paint. Mix the epoxy and paint with a brush and roller. Brush in one direction to make it spread evenly.
If they are way too old and ready to be discarded then yes it’s time for some shopping, but before heading to the store flip through the magazines and browse home improvement websites and get a firm idea about the fixtures, shower curtains, and sanitary wares you would need, it will save you time and costs.
Here are the essentials that you may have to buy:-
These come in a variety of styles with built-in shelves for condiments. You should be able to get a decent one for under $200. Check for the desired size.
Shower curtains and hangers set the mood of the whole washroom and its gets better when coordinated with towels. If the area is small you should go with a lighter color and you can choose to experiment with different kinds of fabric. You can choose vinyl, polyester, cotton, or other decorative textiles. Remember that vinyl and plastic shower curtains can be spot-cleaned while fabric curtains may need to be taken down and washed.
Compared with other fixtures, toilets are not that expensive, but low-flush toilets are not cheap. Choose the one which will complement other sanitary-ware. You can also try a toilet tank water saver. This is a mechanism that fits in the toilet tank and only lets enough water in the tank to do the job. And it’s adjustable.
Sinks/ faucets add elegance to the place, so pay more attention while choosing. It can be counter top, wall mounted or wall hung, above counter vessel types, pedestal, cast iron, integrated, freestanding, or self-rimming, and more. The sink that you choose will determine the type of faucet and handles that you can install in the sink, so keep that in mind to assure that your faucet purchase is compatible with your sink purchase.
To save money buy a water saver shower head. This can save you over 50% of the water and hot water costs for the same duration of shower.
Do not change the location of plumbing when working on low budget. Plumbing modifications requires bringing out the pipes from wall. After placement, you will have to do wall repair work. If new tiles were not in your mind, they will have to be then. Consider renovation in tight budget and forget plumbing modification. That means showers, tubs, toilets, and sinks should remain in the same position.
Linoleum: In a small or medium-sized washroom, changing the floor can be as easy as rolling out a section of beautifully-designed linoleum over the present floor and gluing it. If the present flooring is linoleum you can get a neutralizing agent to scrub the floor and then apply the mastic. The new linoleum will go down easily. Then install molding to hold down the edges.
Tile: This is also cheap and can go over other flooring. For small spaces it can be a do-it-yourself job but a handyman can do it quickly and cheaply. Big tiles can also be used on the walls from the floor to the ceiling for a royal look. You can also choose to have stick on tiles which can be stuck on any surface and look magnificent, moreover you can do it yourself.
Usually the lighting is overhead and/or framing the mirror. This might take a couple of hundred bucks for an electrician but installing sconces on each side of the mirror will really give it a makeover.
It is the cheapest remodeling technique and usually one gallon of finish will do the job. Blue, Sea green, orange based on your preference and the advice of the contractor, you can choose the colors.
One beautifully framed mirror over a sink is more attractive than many surfaces covered with mirrors. These will enhance the looks of your washroom.
Wooden or bamboo accessories seem to have replaced the old fashioned steel racks. You should first look at the type of wood the racks are made of. Pine or oak can be strong, but be careful; they may form fungus when left wet.
Take advantage of space between wall studs by recessing a tall storage cabinet into the wall to maximize vertical storage while saving floor space. The cabinet should have an interior depth of at least three inches and a door flush with the wall.
When your it is completely renovated you can bring in one or two indoor plants like Boston fern, peace lily etc, which helps in cleaning the air. When your renovation is completely done then yes it’s time for indulgence. Enjoy your new bathroom.
Buying a home is a cherished dream for many first time home buyers, a sort of milestone if you will. A home will probably be the most expensive purchase you ever make in your lifetime, which is why a lot of thought and consideration is given to it. For most home buyers, especially, first timers, the financial cost alone is monumental. If you are someone who is planning to buy a home for the first time, we’d like to warn you about some of the biggest challenges that you will face.
For convenience, we’ve sorted the challenges into two categories – Financial challenges and maintenance challenges. Let’s begin with the financial challenges.
Most buyers cannot afford to pay the entire price in one go. They will typically opt to get a home loan. However, even if you do opt for a home loan, you will still have to pay the down payment, which is a lump sum anywhere between 3%-20% of the sales price of the house. This is often a rather big amount which you will have to arrange yourself. The rest can be paid off with a house loan.
Your credit score is a numerical representation of your creditworthiness. It is often used to estimate risk involved in lending money or resources to a person. Credit scores also decide at what rate of interest a loan should be given to you. So if you do have a house loan, your credit score will be hugely affected. Should you require a loan before your home loan is paid off, the chances are high that such a loan would either be difficult to get or would come at a high interest rate.
It goes without saying that purchasing a house will take up a huge chunk of your savings. Since you’ll also be using up money to furnish/decorate your new home, you’ll most probably be left with a very tight budget leaving very little room to afford holidays or other recreational activities. You’ll also be paying monthly installments to the bank to pay off your house loan for the next decade or so which would mean that the tight budget will remain tight for a very long time.
Maintaining a home in good condition is no easy task. It is not pocket friendly either, especially when the home is 4+ years old. First time home buyers find home maintenance very taxing, mostly because they are new to this. So, if you are one among the first time home buyers, then here are some things you should worry about-
Leaking plumbing is a messy and inconvenient event. It could also cause further damages to the house. Fixing one requires skill and sometimes hefty sums of money. Leaks are one of the most common issues reported by first time home buyers and handling it will require the services of a skilled plumber.
Possibly the most expensive kind of maintenance challenge that you will encounter is an appliance breaking down. Big appliances like built-in refrigerators or the HVAC units cost a lot and replacing them could cost you heavily. Sometimes a repair job could fix the issue, but even that requires the skills of an experienced technician and some amount of money.
Houses or any kind of property are often considered as solid investments with a very little scope for depreciation. Hence, buying a home is often positively encouraged. Although they are expensive, they could be an asset unlike any other in the long run.
If you did buy a home, your homeowner duties don’t end there. Home maintenance, like we said before, is not an easy or cheap task. This is why most American homeowners swear by a home warranty plan. For older homes, an appliance warranty plan is your best bet for budget protection. They are affordable and come in wide range of coverages. All you need to do is alert your home warranty company when there is a breakdown and you can get the repair done at a nominal fee! Also, it is strongly recommended that you get a home inspection done before moving in to reveal potential damages with the house. It will also help you in deciding whether you need to look for another house if the damages are too many. We also recommend that you read up on whether your need a home warranty or not.
If this article got you worried, we would like to sincerely apologize. We were merely giving out pointers on what to expect when you don the shoes of a homeowner. And like we said, buying a home is a serious step and it comes with an immense sense of accomplishment for many. So if you’ve found your dream home, go ahead and get it! We wish you all the very best with your new home. Cheers!
Summer is the ideal time for furnace repair and maintenance, and other heating repair problems. One reason for this is the accessibility of furnace technicians. Another is that preventative maintenance is always less worrying than furnace repair when its’ freezing outside.
During hotter months, furnace repair maintenance can be taken care of by widely available professionals at a time when you are not depending too heavily on your heating system. And it’s probable that you won’t have to remain in line.
Some HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) dealers even provide incentives or other specials for heating repair services all through summer, which means that can fit you in and you won’t be left in the cold.
Your furnace was fabricated to last for several years, and you can considerably extend that time by performing usual, preventive maintenance.
A furnace that is not running at peak performance can be fatal. Carbon Monoxide is a natural product of partial combustion. Nearly every gas furnace generates some Carbon Monoxide, which is normally carried from your home through the furnace’s venting. A clean, competently burning gas furnace produces very little amounts of carbon monoxide, while as inefficiently, dirty burning one can produce toxic amounts. Carbon Monoxide is colorless, odorless and cause flu-like symptoms, confusion, disorientation and even death.
It is suggested that you have your furnace checked and cleaned each year. The older the furnace, the more essential this service is. Newer furnaces are outfitted with many features that shut the furnace off when a problem is spotted. Older furnaces have no such devices. Eventually, furnaces can build up small cracks in the combustion chamber. These cracks may not be noticeable with naked eye. It is through these cracks that Carbon Monoxide can leak into your home.
It is also vital to change your furnace filter frequently. The filter is normally found just inside the front cover of the furnace. It may have its own access door on the front cover of the furnace. A clean filter will efficiently burn your furnace and will prevent dust from being circulated through your home.
This is a quick, simple job all homeowners or tenants can do. A new filter makes your furnace more energy-efficient and saves money too.
The following tips will assist you keep your furnace running ably for as long as possible, and hopefully limit expensive repairs down the line.
To make yourself acquainted with your furnace you may want to assess how a furnace works, and implement some of the preventative repairs yourself. Here are a few things you can deal with, if you are up to it:
As with any important appliance or part in your home, proper maintenance is essential for making sure that your gas furnace will last as long as it should. With some simple steps and regular inspections from a competent service provider, you can get the most out of your home’s furnace. Home Warranty Reviews is the place for trusted consumer reviews about HVAC professionals.
If you wish to hire a specialist, go well-armed into your search for a company. Here are a few questions that you could ask of the HVAC dealer you are bearing in mind:
Get rid of all hindrances from the fireplace and flue before you start a fire. Burn only well seasoned wood. Do not start a fire with highly combustible fuels such as gasoline or lighter fluid. Charcoal and other coal products can emit toxic fumes and must not be used. Bear in mind to also have a good aeration as the fire is consuming oxygen. Always use a fireplace screen to prevent sparks from flying into the room. And keep the damper open while fire is burning and when it is dying out.
If your heating equipment is out of order for an extended period of time, you might wish to consider staying with family or friends or in hotel/motel, mainly if there are elderly people or infants in your family.
Extended use of the open oven in a closed house burns oxygen, thus causing improper combustion of gas, which produces a deadly carbon monoxide gas.
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.
Americans buy home warranty to protect themselves from repair and replacement costs of home appliances that fail due to normal wear and tear. Unfortunately a lot of policy holders feel let down by the result after filing a claim with their warranty company. Some people are ignorant that they have the power to dispute the outcome of a claim when one is filed; others are conscious that many customers succeed when they dispute a claim correctly. The procedure involved in disputing a claim can be extensive, but can be worth time investment.
A home warranty is a service contract that covers systems and items in your home that are usually not covered by homeowner’s insurance. Furnaces and outside air conditioning units, plumbing and electrical systems are items commonly covered under a home warranty protection plan. The homeowner requests a claim with the warranty company when a covered item requires repair. Some home warranty providers repay the homeowner for the cost of the repair while others send a contractor directly to the home for repairs.
You should look at these factors carefully for any items that you estimated to be covered by the home warranty contract you aim to procure. Make sure you read the contract one more time and understand the reason for denial. In some cases, even courts cannot help you if the claim was denied for a reason clearly stated in the contract.
So what are some of the common reasons for denial of claims on home warranty?
Always be polite and be friendly with customer service professionals. They will go an extra mile if they like you. The first step should always be that you speak to customer service supervisors and their bosses who make the decision. Assuming those steps did not result in a favorable outcome, you can follow these escalation steps:
American Home Shield is one of the most widely acclaimed and also the biggest player in the home warranty industry. With over 40 years of experience in caring for its patrons, AHS has established itself as a leading home protection plan company. While the company is highly reputable, there have been cases where lawsuits were filed against the company and some of them have resulted in AHS agreeing for settlements. One such lawsuit against American Home Shield resulted in a settlement, even though the company did not admit any illegal behavior or liability in the settlement.
During the settlement of two lawsuits against AHS in which the company was accused of paying kickbacks to real estate brokers to promote their service plans, the company was allegedly trying to protect the brokers and agents from any legal responsibilities.
On that subject, American Home Shield, the nation’s largest provider of home warranties, has stated that the payments they made to real estate brokers to market its products, did not violate the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, or RESPA.
The company admitted to no wrongdoing but has currently agreed to pay up to $26 million to determine allegations that the payments violated RESPA.
AHS put an optimistic spin on the settlement and released brokers and agents involved from any form of liability. This supported the company’s position as its current broker compensation program; ProConnect is in accordance with RESPA guidelines and regulations.
About 500,000 homebuyers and sellers who procured warranties between May 27, 2008, and March 4, 2011, may be qualified to collect an average of $52 each under the terms of the settlement.
Edleson v. American Home Shield filed a lawsuit in California Superior Court in San Diego in July 2007. The California court declined a proposed settlement of Edleson v. American Home Shield, which would have formed a review desk for homeowners to resubmit earlier denied claims.
The court hearing the Edleson case expressed concern that AHS would have the right to readjudicate claims, and the consumers included in the settlement would be giving up “possible” and “realistic” rights in exchange for the hope that a defendant that has supposedly not acted on good faith” before”, would do so.
After the proposed Edleson settlement was declined, American Home Shield reached tentative settlement in Faught v. American Home Shield, which also called for a review desk for consumers to resubmit claims.
The proposed Faught settlement was opposed by 24 homeowners and by the Texas Attorney General’s Office.
The settlement was the outcome of a class-action lawsuit filed by Laura and Steven Faught against AHS in support of people in the US who procured or were issued a home service contract from AHS on July 24, 2001 throughout October 19, 2009. As part of the agreement, AHS decided to set up a review desk to reflect on claims from settlement class members whose claims were declined during the class period.
The Faught lawsuit suspected that American Home Shield engaged in a pattern and practice of failing to accomplish its contractual responsibilities to its customers. This includes declining to provide repair and replacement services to which its customers were entitled and also inappropriately denying claims in the first year of a customer’s home service contracts for “lack of maintenance” (from the Notice of Class Action and Settlement; faughtclassaction.com).
In spite of entering into a settlement, AHS has denied any misconduct or any legal responsibility. However even this claim no of wrongdoing has not prevented a different lawsuit against them. This lawsuit also alleges that American Home Shield was unsuccessful in paying for its customers’ claims.
The complaint, filed by Brigette and William Guadet, on June 23, 2011 according to The Louisiana Record (June 30, 2011) alleges AHS of denying claims made by class members under grounds of “lack of maintenance, pre-existing condition, or failure to clean, in spite of not examining the appliances when policies are issued.”
In addition to this, the lawsuit alleges that AHS denies claims because of negligible uncleanness, even if external factors were the cause of the appliance’s breakdown. Plaintiffs allege that contractors were given an additional benefit for declining legal claims. The lawsuit claims violation of agreement and fake misrepresentation. Plaintiffs seek damages in excess of $75,000.
In the meantime, consumers of other home warranty companies have filed lawsuits of their own or may be looking into possible lawsuits, suspecting that their claims were denied improperly.
The 2008 Abney v. American Home Shield lawsuit alleged that the company violated the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act through its compensation of real estate brokers with regard to the sale and marketing of home warranties.
American Home Shield strongly denied the allegations made in the lawsuit and chose to resolve the suit due to the potential costs in defending the case. Details on the resolution of this case are available at www.abneyclassaction.com.
The Bottom Line
According to D. Frank Davis, a lead attorney for consumers in both the Abney and Faught cases, the Faught settlements is more favorable to all the class members in a lot of important ways.
Under Faught, individuals whose rejected claim incurred in the first year of their contract and involved a heating or air conditioning unit are likely to have their claim paid on reconsideration because of specific language in the settlement about the standards to be used by the review desk. All the other claims resubmitted are also likely to be paid this time because of the negotiated penalty provisions.
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!
Premium Home Warranties or a Deductible Home Warranties? Should I include a Home Warranty contract or not? These are just some of the many questions that you are to deal with before purchasing a home.
You may have done a CIA level inspection of your home-to-be, but sometimes despite it, there is no telling when, why or how a machine will break down and force you to interrupt your everyday chores. Isn’t it a nightmare when you are forced to wait for days to simply wash your clothes or dishes? We don’t want a piling heap of clothes in our living rooms or even a stinking kitchen for that matter. Because with today’s employment demands it is hard and even close to impossible to manage work alongside home chores. So without your appliances to lend you a hand, you may never catch up on your housework.
So what happens if they break down?! The effective solution would be to use a home warranty contract to ensure a quick and reliable way to fix them in time, without coming in between your everyday schedules.
Buying Home Warranties are one such intelligent solution to your problems. Given how crucial it is, we want to cover all the mistakes people usually make while buying Home Warranties. In giving you a heads up, we hope to help avoid frustration, as well as cover all topics before an actual machine crisis ensues.
Here is a list of mistakes a consumer might make when choosing a Home Service Contract-
When purchasing a home, make sure you are buying from a builder who has covered the Home Warranty costs. While some states make the payment of warranty compulsory, otherwise, builders don’t usually cover the Warranty prices along with the price of the property/home. And in the states where it is compulsory, the home builders register with their respective regulator, thus escaping the need to make sure your warranty is paid. However, this is how it works only in the states where payment of warranty is compulsory. Hence, always make sure your builder is charging you the warranty along with the price of your home. If not, you may be falsely charged while not really availing a Home Warranty contract.
Not inspecting can be one of the first and worst mistakes you will ever make while buying a home. It should be obvious that home sellers have a tendency to hide defects within the property! Hence, always schedule a home inspection before purchasing a home which could avoid multiple costs later. If you are unfamiliar with the way a machine works or are ill-equipped to do so, rely on someone observant and knowledgeable in this aspect. Hence, with your own interests at heart, an inspection before moving in, i.e., at least prior to a month, have the home and its appliances inspected thoroughly.
If not the first time, do hire a professional Home Inspector before your warranty plan expires. Hence 12 or 24 months into use, some of the appliances might be showing signs of defect which are unrecognizable for a normal person. This will reduce the risk of ever having to spend either for labor and material costs since the defects would’ve been repaired when it has started to show the first signs. Also, since this will cover all the upcoming four seasons, we recommend you always hire a professional Home Inspector, at the expiration of your Warranty term if not at the time of delivery.
This can lead to disasters in terms of price, be it manual labor or material cost. Some Warranty companies don’t cover all the peripheral prices which are mentioned in the contract, which is why not reviewing a contract can lead to miscommunication between the buyers and the builders. While most plans cover all the appliances within, some might not cover the external structures. And if the model contract doesn’t cover the conventional structures, you can contact the contractor to add coverage to other appliances of your wish.
Since the market is flooded with hundreds of home warranty companies and hence, a mind-numbing number of Home Warranty Plans to pick from, it is all the more difficult to choose a Home Warranty plan that suits your home best.
It should be obvious that a Home Warranty plan used for a newly built home won’t necessarily be the right pick for a property that is a decade old. From HomeWarrantyReviews, you can use our Complaint Resolution Program (CRP) to complain or highlight a company based on your previous experience and also compare Home Warranty companies. This will give you a better insight as to which company could be the right pick for you. Since the CRP complaints can be reviewed by the companies themselves, they can immediately rectify it. Also don’t forget to read our reviews, checking out our Home Warranty Appliance Maintenance Calculator in order to make the right choice.
Sometimes after using our Home Appliance Maintenance Calculator, you might find that Home Maintenance cost could be more without a Home Warranty or vice-versa. Using an unbiased guide on Home Warranty plans which is not sponsored by any Home Warranty company, in particular, can help you give a balanced view without misleading you to purchase from a company. For such an unbiased opinion, it is always important to do your own research to evaluate your needs and costs before buying.
Our Home Warranty Appliance Maintenance Calculator calculates as well as compare the costs of repairing with and without a Home Warranty contract. This will hence give you a complete picture regarding whether or not you should buy a certain plan or a certain part of the plan.
Yes and No. As a leading platform for all of your home warranty needs, including getting your fresh quotes in a jiffy to using our knowledge resource of a wealth of articles and the free tools like that of a home maintenance calculator, we always create value for our readers.
So we always advise our readers to be cautious of not reading the fine print in the home warranty contracts, and we’re also against having predetermined opinions on certain companies or not researching enough on the new companies who’ve joined a long list of companies and who yearn to provide a quality service at your doorstep.
Go ahead and give our features a shot!
Is the increasing price of home warranty and insurance your concern?
You may be wondering why appliance warranty costs are always on the rise. We know that it is a huge financial strain to keep your expenses within your budget. It therefore comes as no big surprise that the yearly increase in your annual premium or just the cost of procuring a home service contract makes you want to scream.
Naturally, you begin to wonder if it is a good idea to drop home warranty. My dear friend, that may not be a very wise move. With the prices of everything around you skyrocketing, what makes you think that the prices for appliance repairs would drop? Labor charges, material charges and every other charge on the surface of Earth has gone up.
This means that if your appliances stop working, you will be paying quite a huge sum of money to get it repaired. And in another two years, the price may vary significantly. Now, if you had an appliance warranty, you wouldn’t have to pay so much. We suggest that you keep your warranty.
Now we can’t alter the prices for you, that would be difficult (read impossible). But we can explain why the prices have gone up over the years. Before that, let’s tell you what an appliance warranty does.
Home service contracts are usually bought for a specific period of time during which expenses incurred for repairing your household devices will be covered. As long as the damage occurs for a covered device in the designated time frame, your only expense will be a nominal service call fee while the expenses for the repairs will be paid by the warranty company.
So, with prices of materials and labor rising each year, is it not natural that the annual premium rises along with it? Yet another significant reason for annual price hike goes like this. As each year passes, your house becomes older and so do the appliances in it. Which means that the chances of them breaking down are also increasing. So you see, the risk of malfunctions and system damages increase with each passing year. Hence to keep up with things, the warranty companies often hike the rates by a certain percentage. Also, if you make a claim, the annual premium may hike by a small margin in the next year.
We don’t have precise numbers from the appliance warranty industry, but we can get you a glimpse into the hikes in the homeowner’s insurance industry. The figures are often comparable.
Let’s take a look at the places where there is highest hike after a claim is made
Now let’s take a look at the places that have lowest hike following a claim.
Source – insurancequotes.com
The reasons for these differences are many. The labor and material costs vary from one region to another and contribute to the premium. The state regulatory requirements can also add to increase in costs.
The average increase in annual premium varies from company to company and therefore you can get price quotes for home warranty companies and compare. Most companies determine the annual premiums based on your location and the age of your house. Sometimes it is also dependent on the number of service requests they take each year.
The appliance warranty providers industry has exhibited a decent growth over the last few years. The industry revenue is expected to increase at annual rate of 0.4% to $1.8 billion. Their profit stands at $197.4 million with wages amounting up to $176.1million. Over the years, a few providers were acquired or merged by/with their peers.
In the next five years, the industry is expected to show an annual growth rate of 1.8% to become a $2.0 billion industry. It is believed that the recovery of the housing market, home sales and homeownership rates will increase. This in turn may lead to an increased demand for appliance warranty. Also, as the economy improves, incomes and consumer confidences are expected to rise leading to an increased spending on home appliances and other fixtures.
We certainly hope that you found this article helpful! We have presented a true description of the industry and its working in the most honest way possible.
Yet we have to say that inspite of all the costs, a home service contract is indeed a very wise purchase if any of the following are true. You can also read our Guide to Home Warranty buyers for further assistance.
As a quick advice, if any of the following are true, it is recommended that you purchase appliance warranty.
Keep in mind that the policy booklet and the contract documents are vital documents. They have to be studied and preserved very carefully to avoid future conflicts and annoyances.
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.
When you compare “promise contracts”, such as home warranties, you must first comprehend exactly what is being assured. You can then evaluate attributes. Fraction of the research should also be aimed at comparing customer’s ratings of the companies that offer the warranties.
Comparing home warranty companies facilitates you to find the policy that suits your budget and needs. A home warranty is an individual policy you can procure to provide coverage for your home’s important appliances and systems. The precise prices and coverage obtainable to you varies by each home warranty company functioning in your area, so comparing the exact rates and services from each company is a significant step when picking a policy for your home.
When buying a home warranty, you are not only giving capital to the supplier, you are also giving your belief that they are going to cover you when you need it most. That’s why it’s so imperative to verify into a company’s history, see how they function and what they ought to offer, plus learn how they entertain their customers. It’s worth exploring before you purchase.
This video will help you compare home warranty companies.
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.
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!
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.