There was a news report covered by HomeWarrantyWiz.com regarding recent developments with regard to fake Internet testimonials, company reviews, and ratings being detected and penalized by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). HomeWarrantyReviews.com was involved with the research behind this article, particularly by sharing our experiences with home warranty companies that have attempted to use our ratings system to post fictitious consumer reviews.
Home warranty is a highly complex product and many consumers rely greatly on the information they find on the Internet in order to choose a home warranty company. Fake Internet reviews make finding accurate information about companies more challenging and can sometimes lead consumers to making misinformed decisions.
The recent FTC fine levied on an advertiser outside the home warranty industry for advertising that involved fake reviews posted online is a good sign for home warranty customers and for all consumers who use the Internet to shop and research products or services. Websites like ours which are actively monitoring the reviews posted on them are an additional resource aside from the FTC and state attorneys, working in the consumer’s corner.
There have been instances where we have blacklisted companies for repeatedly posting fake positive reviews. Some companies employed some sort of advanced techniques to make the review look legitimate. But we have built a sophisticated rating system over the years and will catch any attempt to manipulate the reviews. On top of that we have a team of experienced staff members who make sure the review passes through their litmus test. So, if you are company that relies on such tactics, take a note!
Ensuring that fake reviews and ratings are caught and removed and that the offending parties are warned is just one way in which reviews sites can police reviews and ratings and keep them as accurate as possible. Consumers also have a responsibility as well. Consumers must be diligent to make their reviews as factual as possible in order to make the fake reviews easier to spot. Detailed reviews stand apart from general ones and often fake reviews give only the most basic details, focusing more on glowing compliments about the service or product. Leaving emotion out of reviews is also important because the same companies that post fake reviews or attempt to deflect blame whenever customers post highly emotional testimonials. Ultimately the task of spotting fake reviews falls greatly upon the consumer’s shoulders but now that the FTC has thrown its hat into the ring things will be much more complicated and risky for companies that prefer false advertising over legitimate customer testimonials.
If you want your appliances to function in top condition, you must take care of them. This will help you save money on repair charges in the future. Here are a few maintenance tips that will help you take good care of you appliances:
Let’s take a look at some basic yet important maintenance tips for keeping major appliances and systems in good condition.
Follow the above steps and your refrigerator’s efficiency may increase by 30%! Want more tips? You can read our Refrigerator Maintenance Guide for some cool information.
For more information, read dishwasher maintenance and repair guide.
– Any washer can develop mold if the lid is kept closed always, trapping moisture within. But more serious issues have been reported regarding mold in frontload washers, especially high efficiency (HE) washers. There are ways to reduce the risk of washer mold, but even with the best of care, some frontload washers tend to have mold issues. This can become a very serious health issue that requires constant attention to minimize the effects on the family. The mold is usually black – the worst kind and sadly it is usually a recurring problem that requires proactive care.
– When a washer vibrates and starts gyrating out of place, there’s an imbalance problem which could be due to the wash load, but it could also signal a problem with the laundry room floor. An imbalanced wash load is easy to fix, just cancel or pause the cycle and redistribute the load. At the most, you may have to add a large towel or two to help balance the wash and resume the wash cycle.
– If you’re using a High Efficiency (HE) washer, but inadvertently used the wrong detergent (regular), you may have soap bubbles that are trying to escape from the washer. Turn off the washer and proceed to a rinse and spin, which may need to be repeated to clear out the high volume of suds. HE detergent is a low siding formula which is recommended for high efficiency washers.
– Water droplets or steamy interior windows are usually an indication of excessive moisture. This could simply be caused by a large pot boiling on the stove, but it could signal another problem. It can be caused by a humidifier which is over humidifying the room – not being properly sized for that area or is running on High, where Low would be sufficient. Either way, it’s giving off way too much moisture. You can easily correct that by turning it down or moving the humidifier to a larger area of the house.
– Mold in the high corners of a bathroom usually signals that you need a fan in that areas which exhaust the bath/shower steam to the exterior of the home. Mold can be difficult to remove and will often recur prompting another home repair.
NOTE: The above troubleshooting tips are of advisory nature only. If your appliance isn’t working properly and you are not comfortable attempting any of the following, you may contact your local home warranty company and they can surely refer you to a qualified service contractor. If you don’t have a home warranty, contact a local technician at the earliest to get your appliance fixed.
Performing these small tasks in your regular cleaning and maintenance routine will reduce operation costs and may even eliminate the need for professional repairs. When you take great care of your appliances and further safeguard them with a home appliance warranty, you’ll be able to extend the life of your home appliances and count on them to last for many years to come.
So, you have decided to purchase a warranty that’s going to protect your budget against unexpected repairs and replacements of your household devices. It is a wise step, but you might also want to know about the options you have when you buy warranties. We bring you the list of the most common types of warranties that are purchased to cover household appliances.
Warranties can differ based on several criteria. The age of appliances, age of the home, current conditions of the device are all significant factors that you must consider before you zero in on a household appliance protection plan.
The working is pretty much the same for all these plans. When a device cracks, you inform the folks from whom you purchased the warranty and then they send over a technician to fix the damaged device. You will pay a service call charge each time you raise an issue. And, you can’t report multiple issues in a single call.
Before we go into all that, we have to tell you that the Homeowner’s insurance is something that is not included in this article. It is an entirely different plan and if you wish, you can read about the differences between Homeowner’s insurance and Home warranty.
Let’s begin with the list
We bet that you have definitely heard about this one! This is also the most widely used plan. The Home Warranty also called as the Appliance Warranty/ Appliance protection plans ( it is known by quite a number of names, would take sometime to list them all out) is a service contract that agrees to offer discounted repairs and replacements of your household appliances.
This plan is ideally suited for customers whose appliances are over 4 years. Appliance protection plan covers damages that result due to regular wear and tear, so if you have brand new devices, chances are that you won’t need frequent repairs.
Also, this is not a free of cost arrangement. As a matter of fact, none of the plans discussed here are free. They do cost money, but the amount is nominal as compared to how much you will be paying if you had to carry out the repairs and replacements by yourself.
Home warranties cover almost all the major appliances and systems in your home. They don’t cover the outdoor devices like sprinklers and all that. Read your policy document to get a better idea. You can also read a brief description about the appliances that are covered.
If you think that this is the ideal plan for you, we suggest that you read more about Home Warranty before you make a move.
This too is a familiar name. It is the kind of warranty that the appliance’s manufacturer provides for a limited period of time. Meaning that when you purchase a brand new appliance, the manufacturer’s warranty agrees to repair/ replace your device if something happens to it during the stated warranty period. The time frame changes from manufacturer to manufacturer. The average is often 1 year.
This warranty is a kind of legal binding. If they displease you by not honoring the conditions mentioned in the warranty contract, you can sue them.
Most new gadgets come with a manufacturer’s warranty, even if you buy them online, you can get the manufacturer’s warranty. Major appliances like HVAC units come with longer warranty periods. But keep in mind that the coverage doesn’t remain the same thoughout the warranty period. From second year on-wards, you will be paying for the repair service as the coverage becomes limited to certain parts alone.
You can’t use a Home Warranty to cover a device that is already covered by it’s manufacturer’s warranty. As stated before, Home warranty is for devices that are old, used and no longer covered by the manufacturer’s warranty.
Also called as the dealer’s warranty, and is the warranty that is provided by the seller of the device. This is a very short duration warranty, usually around 6 months and if a defect occurs within the stated time, you have to take the gadget to that particular seller itself and no one else. It is not a very flexible and easy plan, but it is definitely better than no warranty at all.
This is the kind of warranty that gives you the choice to extend the manufacturer’s warranty as and when it expires. These are ideal for the devices that are not covered under the Home Warranty plans eg., TV, Laptops, etc.
You can’t avail extended warranty on used and old devices. They can only be taken for fairly new gadgets whose manufacturer’s warranty expired recently.
These are third party service contracts, often provided by the seller or repair vendors. The costs vary widely as these contracts are usually given by local yet licensed service vendors. The coverage also varies so it is difficult to give much details about this type of warranty.
Speak with a few vendors and compare with the other options you have.
Getting the best
Do your research to get the best out of Appliance warranties. Always ensure that you chose a reputable company. You can also check with the Better Business Bureau to ensure that the company you chose has a clean record. Friends and family can also recommend good companies for you.
Remember, any kind of warranty, if chosen wisely can benefit you immensely by protecting your budget and also by giving you peace of mind.
When it comes to appliance warranty protection plans, the choices are plenty. Should you buy a comprehensive home warranty or extended warranty at the point of sale? While home warranty is like an umbrella insurance that covers all major home appliances, extended warranty is purchased for each appliance separately.
Home warranties will charge annual premium and deductibles per repair incident but they can be purchased anytime during the life-cycle of the product. Extended warranties will charge up front fees, but no deductible per incident and these protection plans are generally sold during the initial stages of product’s use, although there are exceptions.
Generally, home warranties cover all used appliances, but extended warranties cover new items only. Recently, Warranty Week ran an article that questioned whether there is an overlap between the two. They interviewed several executives from home warranty and extended warranty companies. The general consensus appears to be that, there is some overlap, however two types of warranties serve different purposes.
Mike Frosch, president of The Warranty Group, North America, said “Home warranties are great, when you’re buying or selling a house and want to cover used appliances immediately. Service contracts are great, when you’re shopping for new appliances and want to extend the manufacturer’s warranty for additional years. So in a sense, the coverage may overlap, but the offers don’t really compete. When you buy a home warranty, for the sake of argument let’s say it’s $450. It’s a one-year coverage on used equipment. It’s providing some coverage on some amount of appliances, but it’s really about heating, air conditioning, plumbing and electric”
In our view, they do overlap if you are talking about big ticket appliances, but there is no need to buy both. If you are buying a new appliance, chances of it failing in the first 3-5 years is far less assuming you have researched the product before buying. So, there is no real need for extended warranties.
However, if homeowners still want peace of mind coverage, then they should simply go with home warranty as it covers all appliances in your home not just one specific product. The home warranty costs are higher than the extended warranty, however it covers far more items and you have a single point of contact for all repair needs.
Extended warranty companies argue that they provide better service and offer more economic protection plans. The argument is compelling on the surface, but keep in mind home warranties are useful where there is frequent need for repair such as old appliances.
We wonder what would be the service level if extended warranty companies offer maintenance service of 10-15 years old appliances such as heaters and air conditioners. The repair needs are much higher and their profit margins are much lower. Generally extended warranties are bought for new electronics items and repair incidents are much lower. For this reason, we think it is a wise decision not to buy extended warranty at point of purchase.
Okay, so you feel that your tiny apartment is boring and is in desperate need of some styling. Worry not, my friend! Who wants a large apartment when you can always spice up your little one? Plus, we all know that apartments are easier to maintain and you only need to spend less money on them.
Your home should be a space that makes you feel good and we don’t see how the size really matters when it comes to styling. Unless you live in a minuscule apartment like the one Lily Aldrin from “How I met your Mother” occupied (You poor dear!), we don’t see why you would find it difficult to do add some style to your home. Take a look at our list of ten cost effective things you could do that would make your home look A.W.E.S.O.M.E !
Who wants to live in an apartment with boring white walls? If you have watched the “Hunger Games”, we’re sure that you would not have forgotten the look of the folks at the Capitol. That’s the effect bright colors have on you. Buy a can or two of your favorite color and paint a wall with it. You can even invite your buddies over and make this a fun chore. Make sure you speak with your building supervisor before you do this.
Some apartments don’t encourage their residents creating masterpieces on the walls. If you don’t have the option of painting your walls, try using colorful furniture instead. A funky bright pink chair, or an emerald green sofa may bring a drastic change to your home. You can also try using brightly colored curtains and drapes.
If your apartment is really small, it would be unwise to fill it up with large pieces of furniture. This restricts movement around your home and in general ruins the whole look and feel. If you have sufficient space, “float” your furniture so that cleaning will be easier.
Chuck out all the unnecessary furniture. If you rarely eat at home, then its pointless to keep a dining table and six chairs. Instead use this space for something that you genuinely need, say a work space or an exercise room. Budding musicians can use this space to display and practise on your instruments.
Do you have old photographs lying around somewhere? Use them to add a personal touch to your home. Frame them elegantly and hang them up on the walls. If you paint and have painted any pieces, put them up on display. It needn’t necessarily be anything two dimensional like a painting or a photograph, you can always make something fun and creative and display that as well!
Now this one not only looks nice, but it also ensures easy reach to things you need. Place an open shelf in your kitchen and rooms. Neatly arrange all your stuff on it adding flower vases and other showpieces of your choice intermittently. Metal shelves are best suited for this. They are stable, sturdy and can hold a weight.
If you store your kitchen staples this way, it will save you a lot of time while you prepare your shopping list as you can visibly see all the empty jars. Just make sure that you don’t place any rotting veggies or fruits on them
If your apartment is rented out, you may feel stuck with the things inside it. In such a situation, you could bring a lot of change by placing suitable carpets and rugs. You wouldn’t believe the difference they bring to the entire house. Try carpets with patterns and designs. If you are not a regular cleaner, go for ones that are not furry and bushy.
Decorate your TV wall with some panel work or artwork. Turn that into a focal point. Always try to go for a wall mounting TV, it saves space and is easier to move around and of course the picture quality is better.
If you have other recreational devices, they too can be placed in decorative backgrounds. This adds a certain charm to your apartment.
Go green! Add plants and bonsai trees to you home. You have a lot of options on indoor plants and they are easy to maintain as well. If you don’t want a live plant you can always go for a fake one, but it will never be as good as a live one.
Plants are not the ideal additions to your bedroom, what with the CO2 being emitted at night and all that. However windows and kitchen counters are ideal locations for these green friends.
There’s no fun in symmetry. Use your creativity, make a mix of themes and styles. You can go online and check various color combinations and theme mixes. Like they say, two styles are better than one single boring one.
Sometimes your options are limited. You can’t always implement all the changes you want to, right? Say for example the colour of your bathroom tile, no matter how painful and eye damaging that color is, there is very little you can do about it.
So what do you do? Work around it. Try to get other stuff that matches or negates the effect of that bad tile color. Same goes with everything else that you can’t change. At the end of the day, its more about what you make out of the things that you already have.
These are not rules that you must follow, they are simply tips that you can adopt if you want to. It is your home and your life. Let nothing stop you from decorating it the way you want. Be sure that it reflects your personality and that you turn it into something that makes you feel warm and homey.
The last thing you want after a tiring day at the office, is to walk into a space that doesn’t make you feel relaxed. Let your creativity run wild, make use of what you have. Happy decorating!
For most people, buying a house is one of the most expensive purchases of their lifetime. As it is an expensive purchase, very often involving a person’s entire life’s savings, it is only natural that a homeowner will expect some additional protection.
A home warranty or a home service contract is a form of service agreement that offers to provide discounted repairs and replacement services for household appliances. When paired with a property sale, it has been noted that homes sell faster and at higher prices. Recent market studies have confirmed that homes with home warranty sell 10% faster than those without. Over the years, it has become one of the incentives that home buyers eagerly expect when they make a purchase.
In a recent survey conducted by the American Home Shield, it was clearly seen that homes sold with a home warranty sold faster and at higher rates. Following are the assertions from the study:
As mentioned before, home service contracts provide budget protection to the homeowner. When a buyer makes a purchase and receives a home warranty along with it, he also receives the following benefits. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits the buyer gets:
If these points are not compelling enough, here’s a list of benefits that the seller will receive. Yes! This is a deal where people at both ends of the stick score high. Here are some of the seller benefits
In some cases, real estate agents often purchase transferable home warranty contracts for a property that is to be sold. Once the deal is closed, the protection becomes effective thereby reducing the agent’s liabilities.
From the points discussed above, it is quite clear that combining a home warranty with a home sale benefits both buyer a seller. Hence, a home warranty effortlessly increases the value of the property.
In a property sale, 3 types of home service contracts are commonly seen
No matter how attractive a home service contract may seem, there are times where it is a bad deal. Here’s one such situation. A home, if it is new, stands very little chances of encountering appliance/ system crashes. Also, home warranty covers damages that occur due to regular use and wear & tear. Such damages are more likely with appliances that are over 4 years old. So, in cases where the home is new, a home warranty, no matter how attractive, could be unnecessary.
It is unlikely that a real estate agent would ask this question. Most agents have a company that they always rely upon for home service contracts. If you are a first time seller, we suggest that you talk to a few agents before picking a plan. Speak to your friends and family who have experience in home sales and related aspects.
Another option is to visit home warranty review websites. Such sites offer ratings and opinions from customers of home warranty companies. It gives you a hands on feedback about the big players in the industry. This is a very reliable option as user generated feedback is often the ideal way to decide a company’s quality.
From all that has been discussed here, it’s quite clear that, new homes don’t necessarily need a warranty plan. At the same time, it is advised that if you are first time homeowner, you should always have your newly purchased home protected with some form of appliance warranty.
In conclusion, homes that are not new and not under any form of protection are best sold with a warranty plan attached to it. In fact, when homes sold with a warranty sell faster in addition to being sold at higher prices. Nothing good can come out of putting yourself and the buyer at inconvenience. So, do visit some review sites and listen to the Vox Populi!!
Hope you found this helpful. Do share the article and help someone else too. Cheers!!
Home maintenance is an integral and expensive part of homeownership. Every homeowner worth his salt will swear that without proper maintenance of household appliances/ systems, the comforts of his home can be rendered ineffective.
It goes without saying that appliance repairs and replacements are costly. Not to mention the added trouble involved in looking for a trustworthy contractor and getting him to do the repair job at a reasonable price. While unexpected repairs can burn a hole in your pocket, preparing for them in advance may help you lessen the impact of the blow. Let’s see how you can efficiently manage home maintenance costs without hassle.
The first and foremost step is to make a list of all the appliances and systems in your home. Follow this step by creating a table, you can use an MS Excel Spreadsheet or even a simple paper will do. Make 5 columns, mark the first one as “Item” and fill that column with names of all the appliances you own.
This is quite crucial. If you have the paperwork relating to the date of purchase like invoice, bills etc, it will be immensely helpful in determining the year in which the appliance was manufactured. Fill the second column with corresponding values of date of manufacture.
Name the next column as “life expectancy”. Fill it in with average expected life spans of every appliance/system.
In the next column, write down the current age of the appliance. If you don’t know the exact year of manufacture of an appliance, use an estimate.
Deduce the number of years remaining for an appliances from the date of manufacture and the average life expectancy. If,for any component, the value of this field is less than or equal to 5, chances are high that that particular appliance/system may require repairs in the near future.
You can do some research online to find out about the cost of new appliances. Fill that out in the next column.
By now your table should look somewhat like this –
|Appliance/ System||Year of manufacture||Life expectancy||Current age (‘15)||Years remaining|
Any appliance, whose years remaining value is less that 5 is likely to undergo faults and errors more frequently. Shortlist any such appliances and sum up values of their total replacement costs. The amount could be huge or reasonable. If it is huge, it is recommended that you purchase a home warranty plan to ensure budget protection.
Once you make a table for every appliance/ system in your house, you will be able to predict which appliances will require repair services in the next 5 years. Avoid focusing on appliances that have more than 5 years remaining.
Look out for expense clusters. For eg, in the above table, both dishwasher and clothes washer have only 4 years remaining, which means they stand a chance to die during the same year. This could lead to an “expense cluster” as you will have to replace two appliances in the same year.
If you feel that you will be encountering multiple appliance repair needs in the near future, we suggest that you invest in some form of appliance protection plan. Ideally, for any homeowner whose appliances or the home itself is over 4 years old, a home warranty is the best bet for budget protection.
These plans offer discounted repairs and replacements services. In most cases, the homeowner only has to pay nominal deductible fee ($40 – $100) for each service incident. Annual premiums for such plans are quite affordable too (around $250 – $500).
Like we said, without proper maintenance, even the best of homes will turn into an almighty mess. As the old saying goes, a stitch in time, saves nine, likewise timely maintenance could save you loads of money on appliance repairs later.
You can go through Home Maintenance Tips to become aware of the steps you can take to keep your home and its appliances healthy. You can also read about various Home Warranty Plans to secure budget protection and peace of mind.
If you have been planning to buy a house or you have already bought a house, realizing the importance of homeowners insurance is very important. Make sure you have adequate coverage. Studies reveal that approximately 20% of the Americans have cut back on their insurance costs to meet their other monthly financial obligations.
However, insurance coverage is one thing that should never be compromised upon. Your home insurance should be such that it should not only give you adequate coverage but it should also do justice to the amount you shell out as premium. And your premium should be within your reach. It is only when you find it difficult to make payments for the premium that the insurance policy appears to be a financial burden to you.
The ideal way to find the best quote for homeowners insurance is to shop around. You can compare quotes online or talk to insurance carriers personally. There are many insurance carriers that offer different plans to meet the requirements of the consumers. You can try out these and after evaluating the pros and cons of the plan, should you buy your insurance policy.
It is very important that you are not underinsured. If you save some cash now by staying underinsured, you may have to shell out just the double in case of a financial emergency or an unforeseen event.
Instead of buying inadequate coverage for your homeowners insurance policy, there are many things you can do to cut down expenses related to your insurance policy in a reasonable manner. Given below are few measures you can take to reduce insurance costs.
So, when you have the above measures to keep your insurance cost down, it is not necessary to reduce the coverage to save costs.
Americans buy home warranty to protect themselves from repair and replacement costs of home appliances that fail due to normal wear and tear. Unfortunately a lot of policy holders feel let down by the result after filing a claim with their warranty company. Some people are ignorant that they have the power to dispute the outcome of a claim when one is filed; others are conscious that many customers succeed when they dispute a claim correctly. The procedure involved in disputing a claim can be extensive, but can be worth time investment.
A home warranty is a service contract that covers systems and items in your home that are usually not covered by homeowner’s insurance. Furnaces and outside air conditioning units, plumbing and electrical systems are items commonly covered under a home warranty protection plan. The homeowner requests a claim with the warranty company when a covered item requires repair. Some home warranty providers repay the homeowner for the cost of the repair while others send a contractor directly to the home for repairs.
You should look at these factors carefully for any items that you estimated to be covered by the home warranty contract you aim to procure. Make sure you read the contract one more time and understand the reason for denial. In some cases, even courts cannot help you if the claim was denied for a reason clearly stated in the contract.
So what are some of the common reasons for denial of claims on home warranty?
Always be polite and be friendly with customer service professionals. They will go an extra mile if they like you. The first step should always be that you speak to customer service supervisors and their bosses who make the decision. Assuming those steps did not result in a favorable outcome, you can follow these escalation steps:
The only way we ever got HBW to pay anything on a claims for construction defects was because we had a way to avoid their arbitration process. Despite a federal law that said we didn’t have to arbitrate because we had a government backed mortgage, HBW kept trying to get us to arbitrate our dispute with the builder, with an arbitration company they mandated. If you have FHA or VA financing your lawyer needs to make use of this federal law, Title 24 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Section 203.204(g). It says “judicial resolution” has to be an option along with arbitration. I believe it also says that for FHA and VA buyers arbitration has to be at no cost to the homeowner so if you get sucked into it and it’s too late to get out it at least should not cost you extra to get hosed.
Their arbitration company CAS was owned by a disbarred lawyer. We found out about many problems with their arbitration.
HBW was offering only part of our damages and acceptance of their offer would’ve required we give up claims against the builder for the rest of our damages. This would’ve ruined us financially as the damages were severe, with many serious defects in a brand new house.
The way most if not all these new home warranty policies work is that they protect the builder. They do little for the homeowner unless you have time to learn quite a bit about law, consumer protection, etc. This became a huge time consuming operation for us but we eventually prevailed and settled our case. By avoiding their arbitration process we were ABLE to pursue it. In arbitration we’d have probably lost or had to accept the low ball offer.
I learned a lot about warranty companies from some consumer protection groups, and my own research. First, most are not insurance and therefore are not regulated by the state insurance departments. Warranty companies are actually “Risk Retention Groups,” not insurance. Even their so-called insurance backing, National Home “Insurance” Company, is an RRG.
The contract to buy a warranty policy is between a builder and the warranty company. The homeowner rarely knows what terms these two companies have bound them to until it’s too late, for example the arbitration clause in the warranty that you don’t see or don’t realize what a trap it is, until after you’ve bought the house.
I have since seen court cases that said HBW’s arbitration clause is “unconscionable” and unenforceable, but unfortunately many other court cases said that thought it was unfair it was still enforceable. You can find many of these cases discussed online by Googling this company or its chosen arbitration company, Construction Arbitration Services.
No surprise at all to see so many negative ratings here for HBW and I suspect most similar companies have similar comments/ratings. To top it off, during our dispute, HBW still sent us letters asking us to renew their “coverage!” What a joke. Don’t think you have much protection with a home warranty. They are mostly a marketing tool to sell houses, and their coverage for the homeowner is more of a false sense of security.
Anybody who has bought a house knows what closing day feels like. You probably saw the date changed at least once, maybe more than once. You waited for closing. The paperwork trail was long. The bank’s questions had all been answered. The title had cleared. Everything was finally in order, and you saw the keys to your new home for the first time. And the excitement of it all, for many of us, even in memory, is on par with a short list of big life events that we’ll never forget, especially that feeling of being in our own space and to protect our children is something great in itself!
But after the newness and excitement are in the past, home-ownership isn’t always the boon of big advantages over renting that we expect. And these days it’s all too common for buyers of brand new houses to find that the list of half finished, poorly done, and improperly completed work in a new house is long. If you are one among many homeowners, ones who found their dream home wasn’t such a dream upon closer inspection, then you already know that a home warranty doesn’t necessarily protect you or your finances in the event the builder of your home rushed through the work, committed architectural no-nos, or had teams of employees who failed to communicate well together.
Homeowners who closed on new homes, only to find that the builders had made huge mistakes or deliberately violated building codes, know all too well that many home warranties are only as good as the financial stability of the builders themselves. And homeowners who attempt to replace a lost builder’s warranty with one offered by aftermarket home warranty providers may find that pre-existing condition clauses free the company from the obligation to pay many claims that are related to the builder’s errors or bad decisions and calls for a better judgement to be made to protect the interests of the end-user.
But isn’t a home warranty supposed to protect home buyers? Yes, it’s supposed to do that. But the difference between what is supposed to happen with home warranties issued by builders and what actually happens in many cases these days is as big as the difference between states’ regulations on builders and the enforcement of those regulations.
Printed media have been all over this problem for years now. There have been dozens of different reports made by reputable newspapers, magazines, websites, industry organizations, such as The American Institute of Architects, and consumer-facing organizations such as Consumer Reports, each one reinforcing the alarm to consumers that you can’t buy a new house and assume that any problems with it will be remedied by the builder or the home warranty.
What new home buyers and even buyers of existing homes need to understand is that the best protection against huge home repair costs is usually careful scrutiny of the builder. Since states vary greatly in the way in which they regulate builders and building codes, and since enforcement these days is oftentimes limited by budgetary problems, home buyers should not feel too confident in the long-term structural integrity of a house without doing some serious due diligence. That includes checking out the builder’s history and financial health, but it also includes putting extra eyes on the construction while it’s in the process. Home buyers who skip the work involved in ordering inspections of various steps of the construction of their new houses leave themselves open to all kinds of post-closing surprises. And if the builder files for bankruptcy, as so many have done since the housing market crash of 2007, then the owner of a home that was poorly built may be out of luck, no matter what promises were made in the home warranty. So protect yourselves by conducting a thorough research on the internet and in trusted domains like HomeWarrantyReviews.Com
Do you possess a home warranty program? Chances are, if you are a new homeowner, you likely do. But after you have been in your home for a year, you are likely speculating if you should renew your home warranty or not. So many families get themselves in the same situation and expectantly this article will be able to offer you some help.
In all possibility, when you bought your home you obtained a home warranty covering a range of items in your home, i.e. roof, air conditioner, appliances, heating and plumbing systems, possibly your spa/pool etc. If you had a great Realtor he or she can get the seller to pay for the warranty. So here you are approaching date and questioning if you should renew it or not.
Firstly all you should ensure that you inspect your situation properly. This means that you must be careful not to purchase too much insurance or procure coverage for items that you don’t have. So many times, people buy coverage for things like home telephone wiring when they don’t even have a home phone or landline any longer.
For some people, they do not have sufficient money in their savings to pay for a major system repair like a HVAC system. That’s the same thing as a heating or cooling system. You also require making sure that you only purchase coverage for your heating and cooling system if you don’t need for your kitchen items and refrigerator covered as well. Or in case you are not bothered about the AC going out, you may only require coverage for your other major systems and appliances.
Majority of first time home buyers get to the end of that first year and feel like they want to take the chance on not having a system to be unsuccessful. And the reality is, many of them won’t. But for some people anything that can happen will happen if luck is involved. So for them making the choice to renew is a no brainer.
We all are familiar in these economic times coming up with $350 to $600 is a lot of money for most of us. If you certainly did not have to pay for the initial coverage, then there is a doubt that you paid much attention to the cost of your home warranty. No doubt, you had to pay the $50 – $55 service call if you had one and that likely felt like a fine deal, particularly if you had something major go wrong like your hot water heater going bad. Maybe you didn’t have any service calls at all and now you are faced with this renewal expense and there’s a good chance you’re saying “I don’t think so”.
For people who reside in older house, age is definitely a factor to consider. How old are your appliances, your AC and heat pump, the filter motor for your pool, hot water heater, your roof, garage door opener and some of many other things that a home warranty can cover.
You must also factor in the additional costs of the service calls; they have a means of adding up if you have 3 – 4 of them in a year. These certainly are costs over and above the cost of the warranty itself. Study the fine print of your policy before you renew to be sure the items that you may be worried about are really covered. Some of the items you desire to be covered are not in the standard policy but are considered “optional coverage and have supplementary fees. You may have more than one surprise and can be very disappointed if you find out the warranty did not cover “that specific” item.
The additional thing, as a homeowner, you must know that if you don’t have an existing home warranty you can always acquire one. These companies don’t just cater to the new home buyer of a resale home. You can procure a home warranty any time, but you recognize that there will be a 30 day waiting period for it to go into effect.
One way to deal with the query of your right to renew is to just ask the contractor you work with, whether it’s a real estate professional or a home warranty company. If the home warranty that is being offered to you for consideration does not permit you to renew without the company’s consent then you must compare that service contract to others which would allow you to renew freely. It is never a benefit to have a home warranty contract that does not guarantee your right to renew. Actually you risk a lapse in service coverage if you purchase a home warranty that does not guarantee you the permission to renew. Your next home warranty might not provide you instantaneous coverage after buying it, which would leave you with a period which any repairs required, would be 100% out of pocket.
It might appear like you are getting ahead of yourself by distressing about the renewal of contract you might not be interested in renewing. Although you just give yourself the choice of renewing you are better off than being refused or canceled renewal. Never let your policy lapse. You can continue renewing your policy for the period of time in which you own your home, except if you have had lapses in coverage.
Warranty Direct has extended its services from the automobile industry (extended auto warranty plans) to home warranty and home appliance services. The auto warranty company is venturing into the home service market for the first time.
Tara Williams, the executive vice president of Warranty Direct commented on the extension of the services provided by the company that the vehicle warranty provider has now decided to extend its services into home warranty and home Appliances. She stated that this warranty helps you against unexpected repair bills on household appliances.
Warranty Direct claims that it is determined to satisfy their home warranty customers and has come up with different plans to fit their varying needs. These plans include Home care+ and Appliance care+ plans. Their Home care+ plan covers a wide variety of major home appliances, be it electrical, water heater, plumbing or any other house repairs. You can use their Appliance Care+ plan which offers low cost coverage and repair of any of the following: washing machine, refrigerator, dryer, built-in microwave, dishwasher and oven.
Home Warranty services are only a call away. By having an extended Home Warranty, you can call their toll free number and make use of their services provided and enjoy a relaxed life.
Warranty Direct is a 30+ year old company, one of the largest and established auto service contract providers. It has an online division of a dealer agency and an Interstate National Dealer Service. Their expertise in auto warranties is among the top with over 2 million auto extended warranty contracts sold and over $1,000,000,000.00 in paid claims. The company has direct-to-consumer division which is of one of the oldest and largest independent automobile extended warranty providers in the US. In addition to offering the auto warranties directly to consumers; over 2,200 manufacturers, dealers, banks and credit unions choose to sell their coverage.
For automobiles, Warranty Direct covers mechanical breakdown coverage, wear and tear protection, free roadside assistance membership, rental vehicle coverage, trip-interruption protection, direct payment of claims, nationwide coverage, toll-free customer service and easy enrollment options. Also, each of Warranty Direct plans clearly outlines what is covered and not covered.
According to their website, the company services and pays their own claims versus outsourcing them to other insurance brokers. Warranty direct has consistently received an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau and have been named to Forbes Magazine for the Best 200 small companies list for nearly three times. With a user friendly website, they are all geared up to provide essential information you need to know about the company and their products. Pricing details, claim process, ability to compare contracts online prior to the purchase and more features are available.
Home warranty is a service contract that offers discounted repairs and replacements for your household appliances. If you have an appliance protection plan, and if one of your covered appliances breaks down, the home warranty company will repair it for you at a very nominal price.
In general, such plans are considered a wise purchase for those
If any of the above mentioned conditions are true, it will be a good idea to purchase an appliance protection plan. Folks who fall into any one of the categories stated above stand a high chance of encountering frequent damages leaving their pocket empty.
Several types of appliance protection plans are available in the market today. Most of them differ with the extent of coverage. Most of the first tier or basic plans cover only major systems and appliances in your home. This usually excludes outdoor appliances and systems and second sets of devices. Eg spa and pool units, sprinklers are common things excluded from coverage. Also second air conditioning unit, second cooler etc are also omitted. However, the best part about these plans are that their coverage can always be extended. Accordingly the annual premium you pay will be higher.
How Does the Plan Work?
If an appliance crashes while the warranty plan is still valid, all you have to do is to inform the company about the damage. Once you give them all the necessary details, they will call up a service vendor with whom they maintain business ties. The vendor then contacts you to fix an appointment and on the agreed time he arrives to take a look at your appliance. If the damage is minor, the technician will fix it right away.
However, major damages or part replacements may need approval from the home service contract company. Any parts that require replacement will be procured for you by the company.
Home Warranty plans are a great way to insure your household appliances if they are old or aging. However, people often tend to confuse this with homeowner’s insurance, which is quite a big mistake. Homeowner’s insurance can never be replaced with a home service contract or vice versa. Though they both offer protection for your appliances, their grounds for placing a claim are totally different.
May it be reminded again that the policy booklet and contracts are vital documents and should be studied and preserved carefully. If you have decided to go ahead with a home warranty, check out Top Home Warranty Companies listed on our site.
2-10 Home Buyers Warranty is in the process of launching Green Advantage Warranty as part of protection assurance programs for new and upcoming green building initiatives.
The 2-10 home appliance warranty company offers Green Advantage Warranty to builders who meet eco-friendly standards. Builders need to build homes that fulfill the requisites of Energy Star, National Green Building Standard (NGBS), or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards.
Green Advantage Warranty includes repairs and replacement of Energy Star certified products and appliances. Coverage includes the replacement of green labeled items, engineered wood products, sustainably harvest lumber, low or no emission finishes and recycled products with accordance of applicable national certification standard.
Scott Cromie, Chairman and Chief Executive officer states that “With one in four homes now certified by green building standards, it is clear that home buyers want a more eco-friendly home, and that offering warranty protection that targets these values offers builders a clear competitive edge,” and also reports “Our new Green Advantage Warranty represents 2-10 Home Buyers’s Warranty commitment to greener business practices, and celebrates the home builders and home buyers who want a greener home and lifestyle. We’re proud to offer a product that meets these standards, while continuing to provide the same leading, trusted protection our company stands behind.”
Builders interested in participating are encouraged to call 877.777.1344 for more information. You can register to 2-10 HBW Green Advantage Warranty, just by adding up a minimal additional fee over the existing standard rate. It is as simple as checking a box next to the certification standard on 2-10 HBW’s Home Enrollment Application.
Green Advantage Warranty is an added policy to the company’s existing home warranty package, including one, two and ten years of coverage offering for new construction home builders. Company’s 10 years warranty covers structural warranty defect. Under the policy of 1-2-10 warranty one year of surety coverage of workmanship and materials. Two years of warranty also covers on systems.
About the company
2-10 Home Buyers Warranty® is in market for more than 30 years, now the company has offered customers and their homeowners the most comprehensive warranty program available. Whether you’re building, selling or buying a home, 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty offers a complete line of warranty, service contracts and risk management products. Since 1980, 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty has provided warranties and service contracts for more than 5.5 million new and pre-owned homes.
Planning to sell your home and hoping to get top dollar for it? You’ve come to the right place! Selling a home often requires as much thought and consideration as buying one, especially if you are trying to fetch a good price for it. Thankfully, these are a set of pointers you can go through to ensure that you get a good deal. So, sit back, read and get to know how a home can be sold for a great price!
Any transaction that involves real estate should be researched well. Selling a home for top dollar is no different. You could begin with finding out what the average market value is for homes in your neighborhood. You could also pick a real estate agent to help you with the sale of property. Real estate agents always stay updated about prices and know the vibe of the crowd.
If you do not want to appoint an agent, you can use the old-school method and gather information from friends and family. You should also do some research on the amenities available in the neighborhood as such matters affect the sales price of your house.
The Internet is also a very good place to begin your research. You can also make use of online portals to list your house. This will give better visibility and might help you get an idea about prices of houses in your neighborhood.
Many factors should be considered while pricing your house for sale. Apart from obvious factors like size, amenities, and age of the home, there are factors like facilities in the neighborhood, proximity to schools/hospitals/parks, connectivity, and history of the locality. Again, internet research will help you with this task and probably be worthy of your time for those top dollars of your home. There are online tools which give you an estimate of the sales price of your home after you provide details.
If you have listed your property on an online marketplace, be sure to keep checking in often. Events that happen in your neighborhood like crimes or accidents could adversely affect your listing. Staying updated is key here. Also, unless you fix the right price, a good deal can never happen.
If you have placed an ad for your property in print or online media, there is a good chance that many potential buyers will try to contact you to collect information. These folks are also going to negotiate with you to drop the price. While making a small reduction is fine, dropping the price by a large margin could get the buyer suspicious. He/she will begin to wonder if the house is truly worth top dollars if you drop the price without much fuss. The general trend among sellers is to price the house a little above the market value. That way, even if a buyer makes a request to reduce the price, the deal will still be good.
Like we said before, real estate agents are of huge help when it comes to negotiating. In fact, the entire negotiation can happen with the agent alone leaving you free of the task of having lengthy conversations with the buyer.
Everybody loves add-ons, more so when it comes to property. This is a step which is almost guaranteed to increase the selling price of your home. Research has found that a home warranty plan definitely increases the sales price of your house. These plans not only protect your budget, they will also relieve the seller from future disputes. If an appliance in your home fails, the new homeowner will simply contact the warranty provider and not the seller.
You can also put in more shelves or racks to increase storage. Most people are huge fans of ample storage and hence, it could compel people to buy your property. Replacing old appliances will also help sell your home faster.
Nobody wants a house that looks old and spooky. Peeling paint, squeaky doors – in general, anything that looks like the Amityville horror house will be seen as a huge turn-off. It could repel potential buyers. A fresh coat of paint is almost mandatory for the house before it goes on the market. You could also enhance the external appearance of the home by improving the garden (if you have one) or you can add some other landscape detailing. You could also renovate the bathrooms (if they are old) or the kitchen for faster sales. The money you spend on upgrading your home can be reaped back once you sell the property. Trust us, decorating your apartment creatively helps lure in buyers!
Unless you use the services of an agent, your home could be in the market for some time. Do not let that prompt you to drop the prices drastically. A good deal will definitely come by. In the meantime, read up on various home maintenance guides to give your home a thorough upkeep. You could also get a home inspection done as a home inspection report is something that potential buyers would want. That’s all! Hope you strike a very good deal!
An offshoot of Home Warranty, Structural Warranty is a legal agreement between the builder of the home and you – the owner. Structural Warranty functions basically in the case of new homes, wherein the builder assures that the home he has built will have no structural defects for a period of ten years after its construction. His claim is covered by the company which offers him warranty coverage for the building, at times additionally including workmanship and internal systems.
The system functions just like Insurance, but covers defects which may occur due to age and wear and tear, not natural disasters or unforeseen circumstances. Like the Home Warranty covers the items in a home – its appliances, wiring and plumbing systems, interiors etc. – Structural Warranty covers elements like the foundation, girders and beams, roofing, and flooring.
Before the purchase of a home, it is advised for either the new owner, seller or realtor to purchase Home Warranty, in order to establish a relationship of trust and confidence in both parties involved. Just as a Home Warranty leaves the new owner knowing that his home and all that is in it is secure for at least a year after its purchase, Structural Warranty establishes the same sense of security in the buyer of a new home straight from a builder.
It is rather simple – all structural defects are now to be fixed by the company that the Warranty has been purchased from or by the builder offering the warranty himself, and as long as the terms and conditions are met, neither the builder nor the new owner is liable.
We see before our eyes appliances, electrical systems and plumbing leaks occur every once in awhile – but most of the time structural damage is noticeable only after it is too late. Given that large parts of the US are known to have soil that expands with seasonal changes, statistics show that more than 25% of all buildings in the country experience some kind of structural damage during the first decade of their life, almost 10% of this being major and often irreversible.
It isn’t always about how reputable the builder is, in fact, the more reliable the builder the higher the chances are of them investing in warranty for the homes they have built. Years after a deal is signed, sealed and delivered, a matter like soil expansion that is out of the hands of both the parties can spring up, making Structural Warranty the only way to guard against massive expenditure out of your own pocket in the future. Studies show that the warranty is most often claimed 4 to 7 years after a home is built to completion.
The chances of an individual investing a sum as large as the cost of a home in anything else in his or her lifetime is very slim, making this purchase one that could develop complications if not done right. Builder’s offering Structural Warranty for the home they have built can not only assure the buyer of their expertise but also give them a legal document to go back to in case frivolous lawsuits or complaints are lodged. Like in the case of any two-way agreement, responsibilities, terms, and conditions are clearly outlined.
If a third party company is used to establish a warranty, then any complaints, disputes or discussions will be handled by them – until the point of reconciliation. This saves time and discomfort for both parties involved, especially the builder.
If you happen to be a builder with larger holdings or varied properties and houses, then the value of each building is sure to increase if Structural Warranty is added to the mix. Use it as a marketing strategy, one that is true to every word and will help you build lasting relationships with your clients.
Structural Warranty functions according to the guidelines of the Housing and Urban Development department of the US, which stipulates particular criteria within which a company must cover damages. Larger builders may choose to provide their own Structural Warranty schemes to the buyer, while builders without a department to handle such claims or smaller building agencies may choose to use third-party warranty companies. Even more so than Home Warranty claims and structures, Structural Warranty coverage and insurance backing vary drastically from builder to builder and company to company. If you happen to be a part of the decision making of who to choose, make sure you do your research and pick a coverage that is extensive and appropriate to your home.
If you go through a Structural Warranty contract or guide, you will notice one important point – the extremely specific and near legal language used to describe what that particular company or builder covers. Structural Warranty owes this specificity to regulations set by the Housing and Urban Development Department of the US, as well as to the builders’ need to protect themselves from futile claims and lawsuits.
Due to each Structural Warranty being unique (much like Home Warranties state-wise laws), we will get into what the warranty covers in general. Know that this isn’t ironclad, and you have to cross check the terms and conditions with your builder.
As a whole, third-party companies offer two kinds of warranty, one which accounts for any damage to the structure of the building from the moment the deal is closed between the builder and buyer. The second stipulates that the company will only begin to cover damage to the home 3 to 4 years post the sale, implying that any structural damage before then is up to the builder to fix.
Each company usually has a base plan and other additional perks that you can choose to opt for.
The basic coverage usually covers the following:
The last of these, load bearing partitions, are often accompanied by the additional coverage of non-load bearing partitions. These claims are almost purely cosmetic, and certain Structural Warranty companies do assure the fixing of these, keeping in mind the original material integrity of the home.
Integral to any warranty and insurance difference, Structural Warranty doesn’t cover any damage due to natural disaster, accidents or unforeseen circumstances; anything that is covered under insurance, basically.
Lastly, any structures added to the original home – an extension, outhouse and detached garage space for examples – would not be covered. If the need is felt, the builder could then purchase a separate Structural Home Improvement Warranty.
Individual state laws in the US tackle Structural Warranty in different ways, making the cost different in each state as well. On an average, if the basic warranty is purchased, then it shouldn’t cost more than 1% of the purchase cost of the home. In most states which are positioned in low-risk areas (minimal soil expansion, etc.), the price is only about half a percent of the home’s price, whereas in high-risk zones the price can go up to 1.5% to 2%.
When looked at it in terms of a median example, while Structural Warranty would cost anywhere between $500 and $1500 for ten years, the repair in case of structural damage could be between $50,000 and $100,000; Structural Warranty being about one percent of the estimated repair budget.
There is no question that a large number of people would give anything to live in California. This is one of the greatest states in the US because no other location in the entire country has ever been able to become the capital of entertainment and dreams. The state that has given life to the largest phenomenon in the entertainment industry and that is of course Hollywood. This is one of the main reasons why so many people choose to move to this state. In this article we are going to talk about the top five warranty companies and how important it is to be able to hire their services if you want to get the best service. These are the top rated home warranty companies in California as of June 2015
This is a great company that has an excellent service with two main warranty plans available. They have the standard and comprehensive plans. Once covers the primary systems and appliances and the other covers basically everything in your household. The reviews are generally very good and their services are known to be very efficient. They have fewer plans than others, but their current plans are quite good.
This is the company that basically founded the home warranty industry. They offer a wide variety of home warranty plans that have a wide range of costs that can fit most budgets. The general opinion in the reviews about this company are quite good, so you can definitely trust their services to be good. They have been in the business longer than anyone else and they have learned how to get things done properly.
This is another company that has been providing excellent services to millions of Americans in every state of the country. They have been providing some of the most cost effective plans that are available in the industry. The reviews for the business are very positive and their customer service is their greatest strength. This is one of the companies with the largest reach in the country.
This company has plans that truly fit all kinds of budgets and they give coverage to all sorts of properties and the repairs and replacement that might be needed for their homes. This is the main reason why so many reviewers are saying that this is the home warranty service.
There is no question that customer services is the most important thing that the staff at Total Project wants to be able to provide to all of their clients. They have a very special method of helping with home warranties by giving homeowners better tools in order to maintain their own homes much better. The reviews say that this is the one company that seems to get involved the most and this is the reason why they have gained so much respect in the business. The reviews are generally quite positive too.
There is nothing more important than being able to get the right kind of service when it comes to your home warranty. This is going to allow you to maintain your home in top condition at all times for a very reasonable cost. The use of this kind of service has become extremely popular in California and now you have plenty of choices that will allow you to decide which one is going to be the best decision. You can research all of the companies that we have just mentioned and decide which one will be best for your needs.