Selling Your Home For Top Dollar

Planning to sell your home and hoping to get top dollar for it? You’ve come to the right place! Selling a home often requires as much thought and consideration as buying one, especially if you are trying to fetch a good price for it. Thankfully, these are a set of pointers you can go through to ensure that you get a good deal. So, sit back, read and get to know how a home can be sold for a great price!

top dollar

Step 1: Research For Top Dollar

Any transaction that involves real estate should be researched well. Selling a home for top dollar is no different. You could begin with finding out what the average market value is for homes in your neighborhood. You could also pick a real estate agent to help you with the sale of property. Real estate agents always stay updated about prices and know the vibe of the crowd.

If you do not want to appoint an agent, you can use the old-school method and gather information from friends and family. You should also do some research on the amenities available in the neighborhood as such matters affect the sales price of your house.

The Internet is also a very good place to begin your research. You can also make use of online portals to list your house. This will give better visibility and might help you get an idea about prices of houses in your neighborhood.

Step 2: Pricing For Top Dollar

Many factors should be considered while pricing your house for sale. Apart from obvious factors like size, amenities, and age of the home, there are factors like facilities in the neighborhood, proximity to schools/hospitals/parks, connectivity, and history of the locality. Again, internet research will help you with this task and probably be worthy of your time for those top dollars of your home. There are online tools which give you an estimate of the sales price of your home after you provide details.

If you have listed your property on an online marketplace, be sure to keep checking in often. Events that happen in your neighborhood like crimes or accidents could adversely affect your listing. Staying updated is key here. Also, unless you fix the right price, a good deal can never happen.

Step 3: Negotiate For Top Dollar

If you have placed an ad for your property in print or online media, there is a good chance that many potential buyers will try to contact you to collect information. These folks are also going to negotiate with you to drop the price. While making a small reduction is fine, dropping the price by a large margin could get the buyer suspicious. He/she will begin to wonder if the house is truly worth top dollars if you drop the price without much fuss. The general trend among sellers is to price the house a little above the market value. That way, even if a buyer makes a request to reduce the price, the deal will still be good.

Like we said before, real estate agents are of huge help when it comes to negotiating. In fact, the entire negotiation can happen with the agent alone leaving you free of the task of having lengthy conversations with the buyer.

Step 4: Add-ons

Everybody loves add-ons, more so when it comes to property. This is a step which is almost guaranteed to increase the selling price of your home. Research has found that a home warranty plan definitely increases the sales price of your house. These plans not only protect your budget, they will also relieve the seller from future disputes. If an appliance in your home fails, the new homeowner will simply contact the warranty provider and not the seller.

You can also put in more shelves or racks to increase storage. Most people are huge fans of ample storage and hence, it could compel people to buy your property. Replacing old appliances will also help sell your home faster.

Step 5: Aesthetics

Nobody wants a house that looks old and spooky. Peeling paint, squeaky doors – in general, anything that looks like the Amityville horror house will be seen as a huge turn-off. It could repel potential buyers. A fresh coat of paint is almost mandatory for the house before it goes on the market. You could also enhance the external appearance of the home by improving the garden (if you have one) or you can add some other landscape detailing. You could also renovate the bathrooms (if they are old) or the kitchen for faster sales. The money you spend on upgrading your home can be reaped back once you sell the property. Trust us, decorating your apartment creatively helps lure in buyers!

Strike A Good Deal For Top Dollar

Unless you use the services of an agent, your home could be in the market for some time. Do not let that prompt you to drop the prices drastically. A good deal will definitely come by. In the meantime, read up on various home maintenance guides to give your home a thorough upkeep. You could also get a home inspection done as a home inspection report is something that potential buyers would want. That’s all! Hope you strike a very good deal!






We’ve all experienced the hardship of receiving bills in the mail.  The envelope sits on your kitchen table like so many others.  But this one is different.  This one holds the reminder you dread seeing, the electric bill.

Okay, so maybe the electric bill isn’t the one you dread seeing most each month.  But it probably isn’t your favorite monthly obligation either.  If the amount you pay for power bothers you then you might want to give some thought to the causes of the problem.  And if you’ve never looked at how much it costs to run your major appliances then the following figures may surprise you.  You just might find out that it’s time to replace one of the appliances you own with one that is more energy efficient.

This article does focus on electrical appliances. If your home relies mostly or entirely on gas to power your appliances then please find out which gas appliances consume more energy.

Most Power Consuming Appliances

The Fridge (2 KWh Per Day)

The place where you keep your perishable foods is not just an appliance.  It’s a safe where you trust the hundreds of dollars you spend on groceries will be protected.  So keeping your electric usage to a minimum is just one aspect of this appliance.  You may have the most energy efficient model available, but if you fail to maintain it properly it may still use more electricity than is necessary.  If you have not already read my article on refrigerator maintenance please take a moment to look at it today.

According to a study concluded in 2009 by the U.S. Energy Information Administration titled “Residential Energy Consumption Survey” or (RECS), the average American household spends 6.2% of its electrical costs each month on appliances as a group.  Your fridge is quite likely the most expensive appliance to power in your home.  If you have an old refrigerator then you could save hundreds per year simply by switching to a newer, energy efficient model.  You might cut your energy costs by as much as ? for this one appliance according to information available on Energy.gov.  

Washer and Dryer (2-4.5 KWh Per Load)

Unless you use a laundromat or send everything you wear to the dry cleaner you’re spending some of your monthly electric cost on these appliances. The washer and dryer, because of the work they do, are probably next in line behind your fridge in terms of energy use. Unlike most appliances your washer and especially your dryer may also contribute to other energy related costs by putting a great deal of heat back into the house. For this reason the placement of your laundry area may have a big effect on your cooling costs in the warmer months.

Space Heaters & Small Air Conditioners (3KWh Per Hour)

Aside from the soothing hum of a window unit there’s not much to be happy about if your home is cooled by a small air conditioning unit. Size is not everything when it comes to electrical cost, and a little air conditioner can make a big dent in your bank account. The same may be true of portable electric heaters. Keeping a home without a central heating and cooling system comfortable during hot and cold months can be a big burden on a homeowner living on a tight budget. But replacing these small units with more efficient central system components is often financially out of reach. There is hope in some cases though. Some utility companies provide help to homeowners who need assistance financing such upgrades.

Dehumidifiers (1.5 KWh Per Hour)

Homes which require removal of excess moisture in the air have an added cost that can really impact the monthly electric bill. Dehumidifiers may add as much electrical usage as a refrigerator or freezer unit, according to data available on the Nebraska utility website, Cornhusker-Power.com.

Something Else to Consider

Though you may not think if your water heater as an appliance it is probably using more electricity than any single operating part of your home, aside from your heating and cooling systems. A high electric bill can sometimes be due mostly to an inefficient water heater.

About the Author

Kevin Wallach is a freelance writer and marketing professional. His focus is on performance based marketing services for the home warranty and home service contract industry.




Home appliance protection plans are getting popular these days among homeowners. Such home warranty plans cover appliance repair costs and help homeowners with maintenance and repair services.

Home Appliance Protection Plan

What exactly is home appliance warranty plan?

Home warranty plan is a contract to insure the appliances in case of breakdowns to cover-up the repairs or replacement.

Watch this video to know the basics of Home Warranty –

Why do I need a home protection plan?

Home protection plan relieves you from unwanted stress and buys you peace of mind by providing the confidence that any repairs and replacement of your insured appliance will be taken care of by qualified service providers.

How does a home protection plan work?

In case any of your insured appliances break down, first step is to place a service request by simply calling up your insurance company. Once the request is confirmed the same is sent out to schedule an appointment. Only the service fee will be collected to determine the problem and sort-out the issue.

Are all the appliances in the house covered in the warranty plan?

Only the products listed in the insurance contract will be taken care of by the Home protection plan. Generally all major appliances  like refrigerator, washer/dryer, bathtub, plumbing systems, electrical systems, ceiling fans, water heaters and garage door opener are covered in the insurance plan. If it is determined that your insured item cannot be repaired by a service contractor, then it will surely be replaced.

Before deciding on home warranty plans and policies:

There are lots of home protection plans available in the market today. But it is not really hard to find which plan suits your requirements best, besides you just need to do some basic groundwork before deciding-

  • First you need to find out what your entire plan should cover
  • How much do you prefer to invest on the warranty plan?
  • Find a suitable home warranty company that offers the kind of plan you are looking for at a particular price to invest on.
  • Go through the policy booklet and fine print of the company contracts
  • Do check whether the policy has any pre-existing condition exclusions and if so what those conditions are
  • Does the company add up any additional fee on repair or service charges?
  • Will the appliance be replaced or repaired? Will they replace items with new or used items?
  • Check company’s response time obligations. Generally it is within 24 to 48 hours for non-emergency repairs.

These are all the questions that you need to find the answers to before purchasing a home warranty policy.  Some company policies cover only certain appliances while few are expensive. You need to be clear on all these issues.

Once you are certain about which plan suits your needs, compare the policy premiums and ensure the coverage plan. Finally, make sure the home warranty  company is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, including weekends and holidays, so they are there when you need assistance. You can find such companies in our home warranty company directory. A home warranty company should have a toll-free number so it doesn’t cost money to call. Ensure that the customer support is available on easy track so that it helps in fast communication and service. Sign up with a company that has all the above mentioned facilities.

Planning to buy a Home Warranty policy? Watch this video –

 




Extended home warranty provides warranty coverage for major home appliances after the manufacturer’s warranty period is completed.

Buying the home warranty, avoids unnecessary stress and to assists you in peace of mind. It is truly a best insurance for your investment. The costs are very low compared to repair bills of any of your appliances.

Extended Home Warranty

Before deciding on extended warranty

Homeowners are generally provided with home warranty coverage along with the purchase of new house by the seller. But when your original home warranty expires, you have the choice of extending your existing warranty. Before deciding on extension of home warranty it is essential to know whether it is really beneficial to consider the warranty to continue hence let us find the facts on this issue.

Cost consideration on home warranty

The basic home warranties are available at about just $400 per year. Let us assume that the warranty period has expired on any major appliance where the device may have lost manufacturer’s warranty.  Just an initial visit may be charged minimum of about $50 to $100. Repair companies will also bill on an hour basis, for the first hour they may charge you about $50 to $70 and sometimes the subsequent hours will be charged less but varies from case to case. Addition to it you are expected to pay for the repair job.

Planning for home repairs is not predictable. Charges on repair job will differ depending upon the system, duration of time since how long you are using the device. In the usual cases home warranty policies covers up the equipments insured for the period of one year once the warranty is about to expire you can just extend the home warranty just by additional payment and renewal of documentation on what all appliances the policy should cover.

Importance of extended home warranty

Extended home warranty can surely help homeowners in leading stress free life and saves tons of money. It is realistic if you have been repeatedly spending on maintenance and repairs. Usually the breakdown period of appliances starts just before or after your warranty expires because of its usability, if you want to avoid such hassles of contacting repair services. Extended warranty service just makes things easier you are already guaranteed of competent and licensed repair company.

If you calculate, you will surely save thousands of dollars on all the possible repairs, this is quite a big amount of money that you have to set aside if you choose not to opt on warranty. At the end of each passing year you would get a clear idea on how much you need to pay on the renewal of your policy to extend the assurance. There is no need to search for fresh home warranty companies to renew the scheme you can just pay the extra amount and set your life in calm. Any unexpected issue will also be taken care of such companies hence it is truly worth to invest money in affording extended home warranty plan.

Based on your choice, these policies can be extended online or in person. You may be able to find better deals on home warranties online. On the other hand, a benefit of this is that you can take your time to make up your mind without salespeople constantly pestering you. You do not even have to browse the pages of your directory and call them one by one to ask for availability, if you have this service. All it takes is one call to make your life simpler and relaxed.




The intensive cultivation of plants in small living spaces, growing a micro-garden has become an urban phenomenon in the past decade. Using gardening tricks like vertical gardening and hanging planters, you can optimize the space at your disposal to garden away from your worries and reap rich health benefits out of it!

What To Do To Have A Micro-Garden?

  • The best the space can give                                       

Growing a micro-garden is all about the management of space – be it a little strip of soil at the base of your porch or a few feet of a landscaped garden on your terrace.

Creating depth and dimension by using mounds, tiny hills and valleys can add to the surface area, and provide for different plant types at the same time.

Give the carrots and beets a little extra room to grow below the surface, allowing for the daisies to flourish in the shallow end.

How to grow a micro-garden in a urban jungle?

Micro-gardening also requires you to plant in tandem with what the space can handle. Planting broccoli and cauliflower in pots for example, narrows down the yield to one plant per pot, each only giving you crop once. On the other hand, salad leaves, peas, peppers or vegetable creepers can last a whole season and feature at the dining table pretty much every meal.

  • Edible yards

Choosing to landscape your yard, however small, with only grass uses up the nutrients in the soil and requires way too much water to maintain. Hit two birds with one stone – aesthetics and fresh organic produce, and all from your own garden.

It doesn’t have to be all about the produce, and along with chemical-free homegrown vegetables can be great for your health, the lush maroons of beet leaves along with dwarf lemon trees and even cherry tomatoes can make for a beautifully landscaped micro-garden – a decorative landscaping strategy!

  • Bees, birds, and butterflies

For your fruit bearing plants to flourish and the plants – both edible and flowering – to retain their strength and reproducing ability each year, pollination cannot be ignored. Herbs such as rosemary and basil act as great pollinators, as do flowers of plants such as squash and eggplant with their bright shades of yellows and violet calling for attention.    

  • Nutritional needs

Gardening in limited yard spaces, pots and containers confine the availability of soil nutrition to a great extent, making it all the more important to consciously fertilize the soil during the planting process with compost and then keep it up with regular top soil additives.

Making sure that the plant grows to its fullest though the space available is restricted, fertilizers can not only boost the speed of fruit bearing but also keep the plant healthy and pest-free.

Nutrition can be kept at its optimum by using companion planting as well. A technique known often as soil real-estate, planting pairs of creepers and trees with tubers – potatoes under tomatoes, or carrots and onions under herb bushes for example – can not only save space but also allow the soils nutrients to cater to the different needs of different plants, often even replenishing itself.

Where To Do Your Micro-Gardening?

  • Anywhere with a little sun

Not all plants require yards and balconies, in fact, those precious kitchen spices and herbs can grow right at the kitchen window sill, as long as they get a daily dose of sunlight. From thyme and parsley to even ginger and tender garlic and pepper, windows work as just the right bridge between the elements outside and the comfort of your home.

It doesn’t have to be herbs in the kitchen, pretty much any window which is east facing can act as an active decorative space – full with pansies, gardenias, and purple passion, amongst many others.

Look at every space with a new perspective, and you can extend your micro-garden to creepers on the mailbox posts, cacti in broken crockery, lettuce along the walkways and even grapevines on the gate.

Hanging gardens aren’t off the table either – containers hanging on fences and railings or even simple hooked pots from the ceiling can overflow with creepers, maybe even some fruit bearing. The added benefit of hanging gardens, as opposed to those rooted in the soil, are that they can be moved around, making them easy to clean and shift according to season or sun exposure.  

  • Creative Upcycling

The fun of micro-gardening is its perfect balance between creativity and good-old landscaping. Don’t think of it as just a conventional utilization of your green thumbs; you can grow your garden in anything from old tires to broken tanks and fish bowls!

Cracked vessels make great containers as well, especially since the crack acts as a ready drainage system.

Decide which plant to pot according to your container size, a large plant will not grow in a small container and the other way round is just a waste of space. Also provide enough water to your container garden, as containers that have soil in them dry out faster and those nutrients flush out sooner.

  • Grow up!

Everyone’s heard of the famous vertical gardens scaling up walls in Hong Kong and Singapore, but they can just as easily be recreated right at home. With vertical gardens, there is a range of methods that you could employ; from the use of a traditional trellis to a recycled pallet planter or hanging hydroponic window gardens.

Accommodating everything from tomatoes and strawberries to squash and melons, these micro-gardens function just the same way as any others do, as long as the plant isn’t one that has very deep roots.

  • Upside down Planters

We’ve explored possibilities flat on the ground, scaling walls and even creeping up poles and pillars, but we have one last treat for you micro-gardeners – upside down hanging gardens.

Provided you choose plants with a dense root structure and support them well, upside down planters can hold and nourish anything from cherry tomatoes to strawberries and even kale – all with the added fun of seeing your garden head first!

  • Just off the ground

For those of you who have space for soil beds, raising the bed a few inches or even a couple of feet off the ground can greatly help the gardening process. Giving the roots more space, allowing the excess water to drain and letting you restrict the soil to only where you want it, raised soil beds maximize space and minimize effort.

Having the plants a couple of feet off the ground reduces your need to hunch as well, a sure blessing for your spine.

Repairs And Maintenance

Besides the weekly dusting off of topsoil, checking for cracks in the containers and weeds strangling the plants, micro-gardening is too close to your living space for you to not keep an eye on its possible repercussions.

None that can cause serious immediate damage, any micro-gardener must know that a part of the job is to keep a check out for seepage on the walls and possible weight bearing issues related to rooftop gardens and heavy planters.

Not allowing these concerns to come in the way of you keeping your green fingers busy, HomeWarrantyReviews.com acts as a threshold for you to enter the world of Home Warranty. A simple, quick and reliable escape from service and repair related errands and coordination. Home Warranty Reviews ensures peace of mind for you by providing with the vast knowledge base of research, ratings, and free tools so that your home never runs out of home warranty coverage according to your specific needs by calculating what exactly you want!

Just as we have discussed the various aspects of micro-gardening, what to do and what not to do when you garden at home and all tips and tricks on how to get the best out of it, HomeWarrantyReviews.com gives you a chance to explore the world of home warranty from the inside, with tips and tricks of its own. With access to reviews from professionals as well as customers, consumer research based articles give you the best of both worlds – the technical aspects as well as the personal experiences of users and agencies.




Which home would you rather purchase? One that gives you no protection if the air conditioner, plumbing, furnace, garage door openers or dishwater go kaput or one the with a home warranty that fixes any repairs for less than $100?

Majority of buyers would opt for  the latter. It is simple to see why many sellers are making  home warranty part of the selling contract. Provide yourself a marketplace edge by giving buyers peace of mind.

Sell Your House Faster

A home warranty offers the buyer with peace of mind that helps in case there are any problems with major appliances, electrical or home systems. Generally there is a deductible service fee of about $ 60 payable per incident. The cost is generally around $300 to $400 in the form of an annual fee which buys peace of mind and adds value when you’re staring at selling your house.Sell Your House Faster

Additionally, some real estate companies may provide appliance and system protections plans to their customers at no extra charge. Nearly all real estate agencies will offer this service for free, which is generally built into the selling price of the home and brokerage of the realtor.

People who are procuring an older home will buy a warranty if there isn’t one already provided by the seller. This is where having a home warranty for your home is an excellent selling feature. Potential buyers are ought to be impressed if the home is already covered for its appliances and systems.

How to Compare and Choose the Best ?

You can effortlessly find a company that provides appliance protection on our website here or by asking your real estate agent. They will possibly have a list of good home warranty companies that they have used in the past and can advice. Your research also helps choose the best. It’s vital to find out what a company charges along with coverage and other clauses.

 

 

You must compare plans based on the categories below.

  • Systems and appliances covered
  • The cost of the home warranty
  • Service deductible fee
  • Exclusions
  • Other variables like add on’s and customization of plans

With a home warranty, you can give buyers with peace of mind allowing them to be assured that the home is worth their investment. This can be  an outstanding selling feature for any home, new or old. A home warranty can aid you to sell the home faster, standing higher than other homes for sale on the market that do not come with a home warranty.

Selling your home can be a daunting task. Providing appliance protection should do the trick. This service gives your home buyers the composure they look for.

Other Tips for Improving the marketability of Your Home

A few tips for you that will better the chances of finding a buyer for your house.

Kitchen Remodeling

One such improvement is kitchen remodeling. The key aspects you must bear in mind when remodeling are good floor area, sufficient storage space and other modern features. An agent in your locality will be the best person to advice. You can also look up on the internet for resources.

The most common reasons people go for kitchen remodeling are :

  • To improve materials, appliances and fixtures
  • To provide more floor space
  • To provide extra space so family members have a place to grab a quick bite or dine together

Putting back old kitchen cabinets with solid wood – whether cherry, oak or even something less pricey like pine and kitchen counter tops is a good way to increase the kitchen’s usability and appearance as well as the market value of your home.

Bathroom Remodeling

Like kitchen remodeling, bathroom remodeling needs the services of a professional contractor.

It is important  to have a comprehensive plan and know what type renovation work you want before beginning the project so that code compliance laws are met and essential permits obtained.

Be specific when making the list. Instead of just a lavatory, identify the type. Pedestal lavatories can cost over $300, while a simple wall-hung model can just be under $ 70. Designer toilets will be a little over $ 1,500 while a standard two-piece model will cost under $100. Shop for the finest quality fittings.

Besides, here is a list of 6 tips for selling your home that can change the way home buyers look at your home.

  1. Change the mailbox. The mailbox is one of the first items potential buyers see from the curb. A rusty mail box shows a poorly maintained home.
  2. Paint the front door.Depending on the type of door you have, it is prone to wear and tear making it look dull. The dirt from outside stains and the light it is exposed to fades the paint. A fresh paint can vary the image of the psychology of the buyer entering the house.
  3. Trim shrubbery. Shrubbery is good but overgrown shrubbery looks untidy. It makes the same impression – unkempt, not looked after and not clean. Sensible use of the clippers can make a huge difference in the curb appeal.
  4. Fertilize the lawn. Few things make a bigger impression than from the curb than a blossoming green lawn. And nothing will attain that for you than a little addition of fertilizer. Also apply a little seed to the balder patches of the loan and you can see improvements in a week.
  5. Change Light Switch Plates. Unavoidably, light switch plates and plates for outlets show signs of constant contract. Finger prints, dirt can be clearly visible. You could attempt cleaning them one by one but the plates are very cheap. However, clean plates would point to a home that is cared for to the last little item.
  6. Clean the windows. Dazzling clean windows make the house more attractive both inside and out while dirty windows showing hand prints, rain stains create a negative impression on the home buyer.

This list gives you a starting point on economical ways to improve your home’s marketability. Now you should walk your home and try to find the little things that could be made cleaner and brighter with very small expenses.




It is imperative to occasionally examine the overall condition of a home. Wear and tear as a consequence of age and weather crops up in every home, and it is sensible to take care of troubles before they show the way to costly and extensive repairs. Regular maintenance must be done to make sure that all is well in all parts of the home. This should particularly be the case to the extent that the exterior of the home is concerned because it is the outer surface of the home that is most subjected to wear and tear.

Preserve Your Gutter

The gutter is the channel fixed under or along the roof space for draining rainwater from a roof. Gutters in most cases are also called eaves trough, eaves spouts spouting and rainspouts. As they are sited at the exterior of the home their appropriate maintenance has a direct affect upon the overall look of the home. Maintaining gutters is not a tough task. One has to consider the serviceability that they are able to provide once they are free of everything that they need to be rid of. Gutters can easily become blocked with debris and leaves. Inspect and clear them in both spring and autumn. Clogged gutters can cause lawn and shrubbery, landscaping, foundation, walls, crawl spaces, basement and existing gutter system big damage. This is the reason why these troughs should be kept clean all the time.

Roof & Gutter Maintenance

Gutter with leaves

Gutter Safeguarding Tips

In maintaining gutters, it is vital to ensure that you have all the materials needed before starting the work. It is not desirable for you to discontinue in the middle of a task to search for a tool. The first step is to clean the gutters with a thin stiff-bristled brush. You can use a wallpaper brush to clear the debris when the gutters are dry. It is not wise to clear the gutters by washing out them with a garden hose. This might cause the downspout block. Gutters must be cleaned when they are dry, and the hose must be used to wash any remaining debris.

In order to prevent damage to the fascia on the eaves of your home, it’s important to have clean gutters and properly maintained.

Clean Gutters: Examine gutters frequently to ensure that they are clean, and get rid of any leaves or other debris.

Secure Gutters: To mend loose or sagging gutters, swap the gutter spiked with gutter screws, by a cordless drill. Gutters screws clutch much better than normal gutter spikes, offering support and security.

Seal Leaks: Make use of a hose to scrutinize the joints and seams for leaks. In order to fix a leaking joint, clear the area carefully and apply silicon chalk to fasten it.

Gutter Downspout

Downspout

Repair Downspouts: Ensure that the downspouts for gutters are clear of other debris and leaves, and that any joints fit together appropriately.

Water Runoff: Make sure that water coming out of downspouts is sidetracked away from home by means of splash blocks, a downspout extension, or irrigation pipe.

Prevention Is Better Than Cure

Those who want serviceable and nice-looking gutters for their homes are recommended to think about installing gutter screens, guards that avoid debris from entering the gutter. These devices also direct the course of water away from the house and into the ground. This way, the gutters will prove to be more of a blessing than a curse. Suitable maintenance of these devices will cause them to be really useful at the same time as adding a touch of style to the outside of the home which they form part of.

Comprehensive Roof Maintenance

Any homeowner knows that upon constructing a home, maintenance, repair and substitution of all types are bound to happen in the time to come. Your roofing is never an omission.

Still, as a homeowner, there are several guidelines that can help you keep your roof in a fine condition. Even if like the majority homeowners you are not sure doing the repairs yourself, your observation can help keep roofing costs to the minimum.

To judge the strength of a roof, check and inspect the surface area and create a list of insignificant conditions that need to be fixed. Repair or change unnecessary and broken roof tiles, throw away mildew and moss and clean the gutters when required. It is better, if you can check up the loft area.

Here are some other factors that need to be looked over:

Water tightness: More frequently than not, a roof is not waterproof. Though, the application of roof coating lessens the possibility of water leakage, it’s still important to mend the problem before applying a roof coating. Investigating the loft area is a good way to trace which areas may cause water leaks. Dark stained patches on wood shows water damage so better look for such types of patches. They are normally seen adjoining the nails, in the gaps or other materials that made up the roof. The increase of snow in the lower parts of the roof will probably cause water leakage.

Insulation: Standardized vapor barrier and an insulating material is used to frame ceiling insulation. This vapor barrier must be mounted in between the finishing material of the ceiling and the insulation so as to keep away from going through the loft as well as to avoid condensing the roof structure all through the winter. Probably, the vapor barrier must remain airtight, and all gaps in the pipes and cables ought to be covered.

Ventilation:  Suitable insulation and airflow of the loft aids air circulation inside the roof. Well organized ventilation will certainly reduce melting of snow in the lower areas of the roof. Thus, the probability of snow gathering during winter months will stop. Before improving the ventilation, it will be significant to ensure that all necessary proceedings are done to prevent warm air inside house.

A long-lasting and strong roof on your home is certainly essential to guard the people existing in it. Therefore, proper maintenance is vital to stop roof problems in the future.




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

Life Insurance Policy

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

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

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

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

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

Types of Life Insurance

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

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

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

 

Term Life Insurance Policy

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

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

Types of Term Life Insurance

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

 

Permanent Life Insurance Policy

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

Types of Permanent Life Insurance

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

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




Since you searched for this online, it is possibly true that you are frustrated beyond possible limits, because your Insurance Company, that you hired to make your life easier, is in fact annoying you. Let’s not waste time, this article explains the strategy that you must adopt in the event that your Insurance company acts tough on your claim.

Let’s take you over the essentials first. The points that follow must be adhered to , otherwise you stand a chance to lose the fight against the Insurance company.

General guidelines

Pursue Insurance Claims

 1. Information

Gather all the information you can regarding your damaged device eg Manufacturer’s name,  model no, batch no, claim center’s details, basically anything that is required. You should have them ready before you call up the Insurance Company. Keep the info that you gathered in the same place, this is will make accessing them easier. Keep your policy booklet and contract ready as well.

2. Maintain Call logs

Once you have gathered all the required information, call the Insurance company. It is suggested that you don’t place your call on Mondays as it is the busiest day of the week. You should keep records of the following:

  • All communication with your Insurance company must be noted down precisely. Details about the following are most significant.
  • Time, date and duration of the call.
  • Name, ID and call center location of the representative you spoke to.
  • Name of the supervisor to whom your call was transferred.
  • Details about the content of your communication.

3. Be nice and pay attention

Remember that being rude is not going to reap any rewards. The Representative on the other end of the line is possibly more frustrated than you are as they have to deal with annoyed customers like you all day.

  • Greet the Representative back, make sure that you have gotten his name and other details right.
  • Politely explain your grievance, ask for their help, give them details that are required.
  • Tell them why you think your claim should be processed.
  • Always keep in mind that your fight is with the Company and the representative has nothing to do with it.

If you follow the above two rules, you might get a positive response from the Insurance company soon. But there are cases where even good manners and genuine claims fall on deaf ears. If you are experiencing something like that, read on.

They still won’t listen- What to do ?

Call them up at a later time:  This may help if the representative you talked to is a kind fellow. Or they may decide to help you just so that you stop annoying them with constant calls. Give it a try.

Speak with a supervisor:  We are not sure how much this would help, but it is still worth a try.

Threaten them: Yes, you read that right. You probably had thought about it already. First, tell them that you had been a loyal customer and that you will be disappointed if your issue is not resolved. If that does not work, threaten them by telling them that you will terminate your contract if your grievances are not solved immediately. When you do this, they will ask you why you want to terminate your contract. Proceed on telling them how your constant pleas and calls were ignored.

Threaten them some more: It might be helpful if you threaten them by saying that you will tarnish their reputation by bad mouthing them. Declare that you are going to publicise the details of how you were treated and you can even tell them that you will announce the same through various social media.

BBB: The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is one such institution that mediates between the customers and the businesses to resolve issues. Place a complaint with them . The BBB is not a government run organization, however they are advocates of integrity and ethics. They do keep records of all the complaints. No institution wishes to be in the bad list of the BBB.

Attorney General’s office: If you genuinely feel that you are being victimized, you can complain to the Attorney General’s office. They will conduct enquiries and try to resolve the issue. If you do not wish to do this, then simply threaten the Insurance Company by telling them that you will complain to the Attorney General’s office.

Last resort: The lawsuit threat. This should not be used unless your case is that compelling. Most biggies in the Insurance field have their positions covered legally and you may lose unless you have a strong case against them.




We are sorry that we can’t give you a name, but we will do the next best thing. We will tell you about all the qualities you need to look for in a most reliable Home Warranty company.

For those of you who feel that you don’t know enough about home warranties and matters related to it, we suggest that you go through detailed description about a Home Warranty plan section.

Most Reliable Home Warranty Company

So, you are on the look out for a Home Warranty company that gives you the best plan that suits your budget well. For that, first, lets discuss how to figure out what’s best for you.

Preparation

  1. Plan how much you are willing to spend on a home service plan each year. Home warranties cost anywhere from $300 to $700 per year, while average appliance costs would be over $2000 per year according to some expert estimates.
  2. What kind of coverage do you require? Is is extensive or just the basic offer? Basic coverage will include plumbing, heating, cooling and electrical systems along with major appliances. If you have a second refrigerator, it is probably not covered unless you request for additional coverage.
  3. What are the companies out there that offer services that you can afford? You can compare home warranty companies and choose the best plan, based on reviews, pricing etc. available on our website.
  4. Start comparison shopping!

Once this is done, let’s get to the fun part. Here’s a list of features that describe the most reliable Home Warranty company.

Coverage

Look for a company that offers varying packages based on coverage. The company should be able to provide you with a lot of options on the extent of coverage. If you can find a company that offers a tailor made plan for you, it would be great, provided the plan is affordable. Not all appliances and systems covered, so please understand the coverage terms. Pre-existing conditions may not be covered under some plans and lack of maintenance issues are almost always not covered.

Repairs vs Replacement

Did you know that most companies prefer to repair and not replace damaged devices? And because of this, you must thoroughly understand the companies policies regarding this. Go through the terms and conditions mentioned in the policy booklet carefully. A reliable company will always look out for your appliances and will replace them if it is needed.

Customer support

The importance of this aspect cannot be overstated. Ensure that the firm you choose has a 27 x 7 customer service wing whom you can call up at any time. They are the people with whom you will be communicating in case an issue occurs. So make sure that they are available around the clock and also enquire about the average time taken to get a response followed by filing your complaint. If you prefer filing claims online, check if the company has online claims processing options.

Seamless customer support is definitely part of an ideal company.

Qualified and experienced vendors

Ensure that the company you choose has a local branch or at least a good network of  contractors in your neighborhood. In case they do not have qualified contractors in the area, make sure you are allowed to choose your own vendors.

Your insurance company should always provide you with the service of trained and experienced service technicians. They are the people who are responsible for fixing your damaged gadgets so it is highly important that they have a good record. Speak to an agent and inquire about the quality of vendors that are hired by the company. Vendors must be thoroughly screened by the company.

Clean Record

It is never a bad idea to refer to the record of the State Insurance Commission or BBB to ensure that the company you are planning to choose has a clean history. Picking a company that has a history of lawsuits and bad reviews can never live up to your expectations. You can also ask your friends and family to recommend a company based on their experiences. Always choose a company with good reputation to make the most of the deal.

This article is just a brief description about the qualities of a good Home Warranty company. This is not a rule or guideline. Home Warranty plans can cost anywhere between $250 to $700 per year, so it is necessary that you make an informed decision. You can get a free quote or estimate on home warranty plans before you choose any company.

Happy Home Warranty shopping!




I know it’s not normal to admit it, but I’m a warranty nerd. I spend a lot more time researching the home warranty industry than most people. But it’s sort of my job, so I feel less awkward admitting that I get excited over talking with people who are not familiar with home warranties, also called home service contracts. I like telling people about the service and helping them with their questions.

One of the questions I hear most often is “how do I choose a home warranty?”

The answer is initially easy but gets more complex as I go on with explaining the process. So I like to break down the process to five easy steps in order to make it all more manageable.

Step one: Do you need it?

Before you buy anything you really should decide whether you need it or not. With home service contracts it’s pretty simple to do this. First, is the home you want to cover with the contract brand new? If so then are you only looking to cover the appliances? If the answer is no then you probably don’t need the contract. If the answer is yes then the next question is whether or not the appliances you want to cover are out of the manufacturer or retailer’s warranty or service contract. If you say yes to this one then it’s time to shop for a home warranty. If not then you should probably wait until your appliances are no longer covered and then look into getting a contract to provide repair services.

Steps to Choose the Right Home Warranty

Step two: How much do you need?

This part is really important! Your livable square footage and the items you want to cover should be known before you begin shopping for a home warranty. Knowing these things ahead of time will allow you to get the most accurate price and coverage quote.  Do not go with a generic price and coverage quote or buy online without speaking to a company representative unless you are absolutely certain that the contract you are purchasing is exactly what you need.

Step three: Which companies cover your zip code?

Maybe you live in a highly populated place, or maybe you don’t.  This can affect how many service technicians are in your area.  And that can affect how many home warranty companies will offer to cover your home.  It pays to know whether or not a company covers your area before you get into examining price and coverage quotes.  You’ll waste time talking with the wrong companies if you’re not careful.

The easiest way is to go online to find home warranty companies that serve your area and short list them.

Step four: Do you already have things breaking or about to break?

This part is extremely important.  Some companies have periods of time after you sign up when they will not cover repairs.  You should ask if this is the case.  And you should also ask if things that were already broken or about to break are still covered by the home service contract.  Many companies in the home warranty industry have exclusions in their contracts for things that were not working properly or not properly maintained before you became their customer.  And in some cases the fine print in the home warranty contracts may require you to submit maintenance records or otherwise prove that something that breaks was not poorly maintained or repaired improperly prior to becoming a customer.

Step five: Read reviews and contracts carefully!

Along with understanding the exclusions mentioned in step four, this is the most important of all steps.  Do not buy a home warranty until you have read a number of reviews on reputable consumer review websites.  And do not trust websites that rank companies based on advertising dollars those companies spend with the websites.  You can usually trust services such as Angie’s List to provide objective information based on real consumer feedback.  But many fly-by-night websites cannot be trusted and will steer you toward whatever company is paying them the most for advertising or other marketing services.  The ultimate and best resource is a friend or family member who has experience buying home service contracts for their own homes.  Once you’ve gotten reviews or first hand experiences from other consumers you need to read the contracts you are considering buying, word for word.  Don’t skip things just because the contracts are dull reading material, and don’t overlook things that you think are not clear or worded suspiciously.  If you talk with a company representative about parts of the contract which concern you then you should either get a better feeling or an intuitive feeling that this company is not the right one for you.  And that’s how you make the best decisions when buying any product or service.

As you shop for a home warranty please keep in mind that these contracts do save some homeowners money, not to mention time finding a screened contractor on short notice.  But in some cases it makes just as much sense to put away money in a savings account that earns interest and leave that money for emergencies.  Ultimately the decision is up to each individual homeowner, and it’s not always an easy one to make.  If you are not sure you understand how best to calculate your potential savings on home warranty, you can use this excellent calculator provided here on HomeWarrantyReviews.com!

About the Author

Kevin Wallach is a freelance writer and marketing professional. His focus is on performance based marketing services for the home warranty and home service contract industry.




Here is a list of most read articles about home warranty on our site. Enjoy your reading and provide us your feedback!

Articles

Home Appliance Warranty Plans – What is appliance protection plan and how does it help homeowners

Extended Home Appliance Warranty – Things you should consider before buying an extended appliance warranty policy.

FAQs on home warranty plans – This section covers most frequently asked questions about the protection plan

Five Types of Appliance Protection Plans – Covers various kinds of warranties such as appliance warranty, manufacturers warranty, extended warranty, sellers warranty, home service contract etc.

How to choose a home appliance warranty plan – This article explains how to choose a home  warranty plan and the service provider company.

Is home warranty necessary for buyers and sellers – Explains if home warranty is needed for sellers as well as buyers.

Average appliance repair costs – Provides a list of average appliance repair occurance percentages to help you decide whether you need to participate in a home warranty program.

Home warranty quotes – Home warranty quotes, coupons and deals

Is home warranty really an insurance? – Not necessarily. This articles explains why you cannot bank on home warranty for all your repair and replacement needs.

Home maintenance Tips – How to take better care of your sweet home

How to pursue insurance claims – How to pursue a claim when the service provider company is acting tough on your claim.

An Open Letter to Home Warranty Industry – An open letter written by someone who worked in the home warranty industry for a long time. Author provides an insightful view of the industry. The views and opinions expressed are author’s own.




American Home Shield (AHS), a leading home warranty company in the United States, appoints Mark Barry as new president of the company.

Mark Barry as New PresidentBarry most recently served as president of United Technologies Automation and Control Solutions, a $3.2 billion Hartford, Conn-based unit of UTC’s climate, control and security business. He previously served as the president of GE Security-Americas before it was acquired by UTC in 2010.

He spent seven years at Tyco International, including five years as the president of Tyco’s fire and security services Asia division, based in Singapore. He led a multinational team of 11,000 employees in 12 countries, growing the division to $1 billion in annual sales of its electronic security systems, fire-protection, detection and suppressions systems, and related services.

Barry succeeds David Crawford, who is retiring from the post after more than 25 years with American Home Shield, a servicer of home warranties with more than 1.3 million customers in 49 states. Crawford has been AHS president since 2006.

AHS is a pioneer in the home warranty industry, serving more than 1.4 million customers across 49 states of America, and is one of the best service provider in America.

The company offers home protection plan, a service contract which covers the repair or replacement of home appliances and components. It also offers home care advices in the areas of maintenance, tips and also guides towards aspects involved in buying and selling of homes, inspections etc.

It was founded in 1971 and is headquartered in Memphis, Tennessee with service centers in Georgia, Iowa, and Tennessee. American Home Shield Corporation operates as a subsidiary of The ServiceMaster Company. It employs 1,700 employees and has over 11,000 approved, independently insured service contractors nationwide.

The ServiceMaster Company is one of the world’s largest and most versatile service networks. The company’s network includes TruGreen, Trugreen Land Care, Terminix, AHS, ServiceMaster Clean, Merry Maids, Furniture Medic and AmeriSpec.

Barry said in a recent phone interview, in his career he saw the penetration of household-alarm systems jump from about just 2 percent in the early 1990s to close to 30 percent.

“The (home-warranty) industry has the same potential to do that,” he says, “We are passionate about our commitment to grow in the real estate space, but we also know that we have the potential to grow beyond that niche and reach even more households.”

“He says a key to growth is getting the message to prospective customers on the value of American Home Shield warranties.

Last month he visited Carroll, Iowa and received inputs from department representatives and also visited city mayor Adam Schweers and Area Development Corporation executive director Jim Gossett.

Barry says he’s impressed that AHS’s employees are “incredibly well-focused” and the business is a “well-operating organization.”

The company has added more employees and with a promising president it is all set to grow and take the home warranty industry to a new level.




Maintaining everything in the home is one of the major concerns homeowners have to deal with. Every homeowner worth his salt will tell you that the primary expenses incurred in the process of home maintenance are due to appliance and system faults.
Home Maintenance Plans

Having said that, we’re sure that everyone has heard of Appliance / Home maintenance plans or simply put, home warranty plans. Such plans are contracts that agree to provide you with discounted repairs and replacement services for household appliances and systems. Do keep in mind that such plans are for ageing appliances that have suffered quite a bit of wear and tear over the years. Appliance warranties only cover damages that are due to age, wear and tear.

Home Warranty – How Does it Work?

The working of such plans are quite simple. You purchase the warranty from a home service provider for a specific duration. During the coverage period, if your appliances / systems breaks down, you only need to  call the your warranty provider. They will send a technician to fix your faulty item at just a nominal service charge fee. The actual cost of repairs will be borne by the company.

Hence, in many ways, a warranty is a wise way to protect your budget from unexpected expenses. To know more about home service contracts, read things to know about home warranty. You’ll find that helpful.

Cost of Home Maintenance Plans

Now, coming to the actual problem that this article addresses, cost of home maintenance plans. In general such appliance warranties are affordable and reasonably priced. Most companies offer a specific set of plans from which you can choose, based on your requirements.

The annual premiums for a home service contract ranges between $200 – $ 600, for a home under 5,000 sq.ft. When you purchase a plan, you will be provided with a policy booklet that explicitly specifies all the items that will be covered. You will also be provided with information about various other terms and conditions. Like we said before, home service contracts do not cover damages due to anything other than age and regular use. For faults due to crime, hazards and other perils, you may want to check the difference between home insurance and home warranty.

In addition to the annual premium, you may also have to pay a nominal fee as the deductible each time you raise an issue. Deductibles usually cost between $50 – $100. There are some companies that offer zero deductible appliance protection plans

Like we discussed before, different providers charge different amounts for their plans. Following are the facts that decide the cost of home warranty.

  • Extent of coverage
  • Type of plan
  • Additional benefits/ services
  • Size of the house
  • Age of the house

If you want to purchase a home warranty plan, we suggest that you get your home inspected first. While some companies offer this service prior to the contract being signed, some companies do not. A home inspection reveals a lot of potential problems that your house may face and the inspector may even recommend a plan to make the best out of home warranty.

Bottom Line

If you are still unsure about home warranty, we suggest that you go through our web site and read some informative articles that may help you solve some confusion. That said, we still think that a home warranty is a clever way to protect your appliances and save cash in the process. Cheers!




Adding to a long list of home warranty companies which have entered the home service contract space only to quickly exit, Stanley Warranty announced recently that the company is immediately terminating its services.  Visitors to Stanley’s website see this message:

Stanley Warranty

The company’s closing may come as little surprise to those who are aware of last year’s announcement of an investigation into the new company’s business practices.  In June 2015 New Jersey’s Division of Consumer Affairs announced that it had filed a complaint against Stanley Warranty, LLC, alleging that the company had committed acts contrary to its contractual commitments to its customers.  Among the state’s specific complaints against the company were alleged offenses that specifically involved Stanley’s home service contract customers.  Stanley also operated a business unit which provided consumers with extended service agreements for motor vehicles, commonly called auto warranties.

Here’s a quick analysis that we can provide to readers seeking more information about Stanley Warranty’s abrupt closure and the precedences set by other companies that pulled this same move in recent years. Come back to HomeWarrantyReviews.com for updates as we learn more about the fallout from Stanley Warranty’s announcement.

This Isn’t The First Time That A Home Warranty Company Has Gone Belly Up

Like Sensible Home Warranty did in 2014 when it closed shop, Stanley provided no apparent warning to their customers that pre-paid services would not be provided, though at this time it’s still unclear to HomeWarrantyReviews.com whether the company contacted customers via telephone or postal mail prior to closing its doors.  It’s also not known yet whether Stanley’s failure to uphold its commitment to any pre-paid customers will compound the company’s problems with New Jersey’s consumer agency.

Another company in the home warranty space that closed its doors in 2014, Colonial Home Warranty, sought bankruptcy protection.  Through bankruptcy, the company appears to have been able to escape financial responsibility for unfulfilled service contracts and repair bills from their contractors.  Whether or not Stanley Warranty will seek similar protection is not clear at this time.

The Signs Were All Over The Place That Stanley Warranty Was Trouble

Reviews for Stanley Warranty, also known as Stanley Safe Club, here on HomeWarrantyReviews.com are almost entirely negative.  The reviews reflect an apparent trend of the company not honoring its promises to customers or contractors who performed repairs on its behalf.  Many of the worst reviews mention repair contractors pursuing payments from the homeowners after Stanley Warranty failed to fulfill its duty to make those payments in a timely manner.

On its Better Business Bureau page, Stanley Warranty already had an F rating prior to the announcement of its cessation of services to its customers.  On Yelp, a recent review includes a comment about a refund check from the company to the customer, who had canceled services ahead of the expiration of the contract period, being denied due to insufficient funds.  That review was created in December of 2015, leading to the obvious question whether or not Stanley was insolvent well before it closed its doors in 2016.  Interestingly, reading past reviews on Yelp leads you to at least one claim in 2014 that Stanley Warranty had announced on its company website that it was closing.  And no matter how far back in time a reader travels on Yelp, the story seems to be consistently poor, one unhappy customer after another.

Perhaps the most insulting element of this story is that Stanley Warranty sold its service contracts with a promise of zero service fees.  Anyone familiar with the home service contract industry knows that most companies charge a fee, paid by the customer to the service provider, at the time of a service call.  For a company to offer competitive rates with no service fees is a pretty compelling deal for consumers.  And many of the consumers lured in by that deal are now left with every required repair being paid entirely out of their own pockets, despite having paid well in advance for home service contracts from this company.

What Happens Next May Not Be Good For Stanley Warranty’s Pre-Paid Customers

The home warranty industry has a history of companies like Stanley Warranty popping in and out of the space and taking loads of customers’ money out the door when the companies fold or burning up the money received from customers through mismanagement and unhedged risks.  Consumers who have been buying home warranties for years probably recognize some of the company names, ones like Arkidus, Sensible Home Warranty, Colonial Home Warranty, and  Certified Warranties Corporation.  All of these companies have something in common.  They sold home service contracts right up until the day they shut the office lights off and locked the doors.  

This may be the single biggest black eye that the home warranty industry has received in the last decade, and it just keeps happening.  As if companies being able to enter an industry that is so much like insurance, often undetected by the state agencies that regulate their industry, improperly funded, and perhaps even criminally intent on defrauding their customers is not enough, the end result of the companies is consumers left with financial losses sometimes amounting to thousands of dollars in service contract fees paid in advance.  All too often the regulators in the states where the customers live are powerless to retrieve those customers’ funds, and even when bankruptcy courts are involved the individual consumer is usually out of luck when liquidated assets are divided up among registered claimants.

In a nutshell, the chance of Stanley Warranty’s customers seeing refunds is very, very slim.  It’s quite likely that this story will end the same way it did for customers of Sensible Home Warranty in 2014 when that company disappeared overnight.  But that should not stop consumers willing to do whatever they can to seek justice.  Readers who wish to pursue legal action should immediately seek advice from an attorney, preferably one with experience with defunct service contract companies.

What’s A Nice Homeowner To Do?

If there’s any worthwhile piece of advice we can give to our readers who are shopping for a home warranty company it’s this:

Do your homework!  Despite it not always being easy to do, consumers must research companies in the home service contract space before making a purchase.  Here’s an example of the kind of detailed reporting available to consumers trying to evaluate the financial health of companies selling home service contracts in the United States.  That article by Warranty Week is an excellent resource.  Keep in mind that if the home warranty company you choose is using its sales to finance its claims then you can probably count on two things happening.  One, the company will do whatever it can to avoid paying your claims.  Two, the company will eventually get into hot water and close up quickly in order to try to avoid the owners bearing personal responsibility for the actions of the company.

Be safe out there.  And if you are a Stanley Warranty customer who would like to share information with other readers in the same boat as you then please share your story in the comments section below.




There are five types of warranties plans available such as manufacturer warranty, home warranty, seller’s warranty, extended warranty, appliance service contract etc. All the above mentioned terms are basically protection policies of your household appliances. All these warranty contracts are slightly different and we will get into them in just a moment. Please note that we do not cover homeowners insurance here but you can refer to the article that talks about home insurance and home warranty differences

Types of Warranties

Home Warranty

Home warranty is a service contract on your home appliances and it covers repairs and maintenance of household machinery. Home warranty plan takes care of repair and replacement of all your insured appliances by the qualified service provider. This plan is also referred as

  • Appliance Protection Plan
  • Appliance Service Contract
  • Home Maintenance Plan
  • Home Protection Plan
  • Home Appliance Insurance
  • Appliance Repair Service
  • Home Warranty Insurance

Manufacturer’s Warranty

One of the basic thing people look for while purchasing any appliance or gadget is the warranty. A warranty is a kind of assurance provided by the manufacturer for the product and if the item does not meet the expectations then the insurance provider is bound to repair or replace the product within the stated warranty period. The standard coverage is generally for the period of one year. A warranty is a legal binding which means if the seller does not stick to their words, then you can legally file lawsuits against them.

These days all the online stores and offline stores are providing manufacturer’s warranty and the original bill along with the purchased product. The products shipped are also completely sealed and as good as what you can get from retail stores. You can extend the warranty for additional years if you desire, although it is not necessary in most cases. Generally, big ticket items such as HVAC units come with 5 years warranty, but the coverage will be limited to parts only from second year onwards. That means you will have to pay for the repair service.

Home appliance warranty companies generally do not cover an equipment when it is under manufacturers warranty.

Seller’s Warranty

Seller Warranty is also known as dealer warranty. The warranty is basically provided by the respective seller or the dealer of the products. Most of seller warranties last for the period of 6 months. In case of any sort of defect of malfunction of the product, you have to take the product particularly to the seller from whom you bought it.

Extended Warranty

You have an option to extend manufacturer’s warranty when it expires. It is recommended only for those appliances that are not covered by home warranty, such as laptop, PC, TV and other electronics.

You can also extend home warranty when your original plan expires. Usually the breakdown period of appliances starts just before or after your warranty expires because of its usability. If you want to avoid such hassles of contacting repair services, extended warranty service just makes things easier

Home Service Contracts

Service contracts are also considered as agreement or protection agreements. Most of these are offered by vendors selling the appliance, a service company, or a third party service provider. Home service contractors are basically local, licensed, and insured team to provide service. The price, terms and coverage choices widely vary as these companies tend to be local service providers. The repair and customer service may also vary depending on the vendor. Make sure you thoroughly understand the contract before you sign it.

Do your homework before buying home warranties, extended warranties, or service contracts for your major appliance. Understand the “Terms and Conditions” of the contract, especially its limitations.

Make sure you know and understand:

  • The reputation of the selling agent or the service provider
  • If the agreement contains a service repair cost “deductible” clause
  • If you must get second opinions or price estimates before repair
  • If you renew annually and what is the cost to do so
  • Any repair not covered such as plastic, glass, rust, corrosion non-functional parts, and installation, wiring or plumbing corrections
  • Costs involved if you have to take the appliance to the repair shop (against being repaired in your home)
  • What happens when the necessary part is no longer available
  • Any other terms and conditions of the contract, especially its limitations

Asking the right questions BEFORE PURCHASING will prevent unwelcome surprises.




HVAC Maintenance Checklist

 

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HVAC appliances are one of the most vital components in a home. Naturally, unexpected crashes and breakdowns of HVAC units disrupt a peaceful living. And once they crash, boy! They are really expensive to repair (or replace).

Any homeowner, in his right sense would therefore make sure that the heating, cooling and ventilation units are well taken care of and maintained. For all of you who are wondering how to extend the life of your HVAC appliances, this checklist is just the right thing for you!

Monthly maintenance routine

Yes, all HVAC appliances will do well if you give them some basic cleaning every month. Ensure that you do the following two steps at least once a month.

  • Check thermostat settings
  • Clean out the vents, replace filters, and keep it dust free as much as possible

Annual maintenance routine

The U.S. Dept. of energy advises homeowners to carry out a maintenance routine at least twice a year. This ensures that the power consumption is optimized and hazards are avoided. Here are the steps that you should carry out yearly to ensure healthy running of your HVAC appliances/ systems.

  • Hire a professional inspector to perform checks on your HVAC units
  • Hire a professional to clear the air ducts
  • Re check and tighten all electrical connections
  • Check refrigerant levels
  • Use suitable lubricants to lubricate moving parts
  • Clean the area around HVAC units and ensure that it always remains dry

If you think that these tasks are difficult and that your warranty plan will save you, here’s some incentive for you to get going in the right direction.

Home Warranty Companies usually DO NOT cover damages caused due to lack of  maintenance. Which means that if your system stops working and the technician diagnosis says that the damage was caused due to lack of maintenance, your claim may be denied.

If that is not compelling enough, here are some more things that will happen if you are careless about HVAC maintenance

  • Excess power consumption. Man! those electric bills are going to shock you (literally)
  • Unclean machinery heats up abnormally, this leads to fire hazards.
  • If vents are clogged with debris or other particulate matter, efficiency of the system drops
  • If you don’t monitor your gas/ fuel connections, health issues and fire hazards may happen

Appliances and systems in our home and around us help us lead a happy and easy life. So it is only fair that we do for them at least a fraction of what they do for us. Take good care of your appliances, don’t use them roughly and above all, purchase a home warranty plan to protect your budget against unexpected appliance crashes.

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

Top tips for Structural Warranty for Newly constructed homes

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

What is Structural Warranty?

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

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

Is Structural Warranty Necessary for me as a Buyer?

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

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

The Builder’s Perspective

Settling Terms of the Deal

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

A Middleman

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

Value of the Home

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

How Structural Warranty Works

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

What Structural Warranty Covers

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

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

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

The basic coverage usually covers the following:

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

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

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

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

The Cost

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

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

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Any homeowner who lives in Nevada and is shopping for a home warranty, also called a home service contract, will want to read this article. Why?  Well, for one reason, HomeWarrantyReviews.com is one of the most established sources of reviews for home warranty companies in the U.S. And thanks to the thousands and thousands of reviews we’ve compiled on our website, we can offer you fair and objective input regarding the home warranty companies in Nevada that are doing the best job serving their customers needs.

Home Warranty Companies in Nevada

So, which home warranty companies are the best in the state of Nevada? Let’s find out!

Nevada is a state with extreme temperatures.

Nevada is famous for its desert areas, Las Vegas in particular. And with desert days you can expect several months of daily average temperatures above one hundred degrees Fahrenheit. As if the desert days are not challenging enough, desert nights can be a bit extreme too, temperatures plummeting from the daytime highs. When you push your heating and cooling systems to their limits you increase wear and tear and increase the chance of encountering frequent problems. With this in mind, Nevada homeowners should carefully consider their choices of home warranty companies, assuming the heating and cooling systems will be covered items.

All of the top companies listed in this article have something in common. That common thread is quality service. No matter what appliances and systems you want covered, you primarily want to know that when something breaks down it will be fixed quickly and correctly. And for that reason you can compare one common aspect of every home warranty company, that being the performance of the company when claims are filed by customers. To do that though you need real, accurate, fair feedback from homeowners like you. Luckily, you’re at the right place for that.

Ranking Nevada’s top companies requires real, honest consumer testimonials and ratings.

HomeWarrantyReviews.com ranks companies based on user feedback, not based on how much companies pay for advertising. You will find that some other websites that rank home warranty companies do not do the same thing. If you trust a website that ranks companies arbitrarily then you may not be happy with the end result. What we can offer you below is a list of top companies that service the state of Nevada, a list that is only influenced by consumers just like you, people with direct experience filing claims with these companies. So get out your paper and pen. Here is the list of top companies servicing Nevada, based on the current standings on our website.

  1. American Home Shield
  2. The Home Service Club
  3. Select Home Warranty
  4. Landmark Home Warranty
  5. Home Warranty of America

A great home warranty company needs an outstanding repair contractor network.

You may be familiar with these companies. All of these companies advertise their services widely. But what makes them so successful in Nevada? As is the case with nearly any home warranty company, a great repair contractor can make the customer experience much better than it would have been if the home warranty company didn’t have a good network of qualified contractors in the area. Home warranty companies have to work very hard to make sure they have enough contractors in each area they service. The companies also must maintain records of customer satisfaction in order to ensure that the contractors are making their customers happy with each service call. So how do these companies do with regard to customer satisfaction if you focus on the contractors doing the work? Read on to find out.

1. American Home Shield (AHS)

When you have as many customers as American Home Shield does it becomes a challenge to keep them all happy. But AHS has clearly made a good impression on its customers in recent months. Just scanning through the top ten reviews we found nine of ten reviews with very high ratings and very positive comments specifically mentioned the great service from the repair contractors. In several reviews the comments referred to AHS’s consistent delivery of timely, high quality repair services via the company’s contractor network. And that network is one of the strongest reasons for choosing a top rated company like AHS.

2. The Home Service Club (HSC)

In eight of ten recent reviews we examined we found specific praise for the repair technicians that The Home Service Club sent to their customers’ homes. Though there were two negative reviews in the group we looked at, overall the customer reviews were consistently positive, particularly with regard to the time it took to receive repair services and the accuracy and cleanliness of the work performed. HSC appears to have good contractors working with them in most areas they service and appears to have a very efficient process for dispatching contractors when claims come in.

3. Select Home Warranty

In the case of Select Home Warranty we found that nearly all of the recent reviews had extremely positive things to say about the claims process, from start to finish. One reviewer contacted Select after 11:00 pm to report an air conditioning problem and had a contractor at his home within five hours. Another reviewer wrote that Select Home Warranty authorized the use of a repair contractor the homeowner picked, instead of asking the homeowner to wait for a network technician to be available. Stories like this are not altogether unheard of in the home warranty industry, but when you see consistently high praise for the timeliness of repair contractors arriving after claims are filed you know you are looking at an exceptional company. And that is the type of company that every homeowner wants to do business with.

4. Landmark Home Warranty

Landmark Home Warranty has some very happy customers. Looking through the company’s recent reviews we noticed that all are positive and nearly every one gives specific credit to the customer service representatives and the repair contractors. This sort of applause from customers is important, because when you see that most reviewers are happy with the entire claims process, end to end, you can expect that the company will deliver similar results to any of its customers.

5. Home Warranty of America

Home Warranty of America, like the other companies listed here, has a very high rate of great review comments and ratings. With only a handful of negative reviews among the many that we examined it’s not surprising that HWA consistently ranks among the top companies on our website in most of the areas the company services. Many of the reviewers indicated that they were introduced to HWA’s services by a real estate professional. In some cases real estate professionals themselves took the time to write reviews. So it’s possible that many of our Nevada readers can learn first hand about HWA from the professionals helping them list or purchase their houses.

Now we see why these companies are tops in Nevada.

Being great in any business means being great consistently. What our readers can take away from this article is the benefit of thousands of consumers’ personal experiences. Knowing that so many customers in Nevada have been pleased with the service from these companies, readers can be much more confident in considering any one of these companies for a home service contract. But don’t just take our word for it. While you’re on our website we encourage you to read reviews about home warranty companies, not only for these ones but for any others you may be considering.