Stanley Warranty Announces Closing of Home Service Contract Company

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.






Our lives in the twenty-first century are irrevocably bound to technology is one way or another, be it at work, home or for leisure time activities. Our daily routines are punctuated with the usage of machines and home appliances of all kinds, from a coffee maker to wake us up, an oven to heat the morning bagel, washed vessels out of the dishwasher to a carton of cold milk in the refrigerator.

Know your service repairman to maintain your home appliance

Now that convenient and comfortable living is synonymous with the usage of home appliances, keeping them up and running becomes an absolute necessity – imagine going even a couple of days without a garbage disposal, coffee maker or refrigerator! Adding to the day to day need of these home appliances as a reason to make sure they are maintained, there is also the simple fact that they don’t come cheap, and if a little sprucing up now and then can keep them new, shiny, energy efficient and functional for longer, then why not!

Home appliances are not always sturdy enough to survive rough and constant use without maintenance and require a routine round of cleaning, servicing, and safety measures to be followed to make sure they work right. The unseen side of burnt grease in your oven, deposits in your dishwasher or corrosion of your washing machine coils can lead to your home appliances malfunctioning, and if you wait too long then the only solution left at your disposal may be a replacement.

Another extremely important factor to keep in mind when it comes to home appliances is that they are directly linked to your electrical systems and usually take up a large part of your electrical load. Even if a perfectly functioning washer or air conditioner uses up a considerable part of your total electrical consumption, and as the appliance begins to deteriorate, its efficiency when it comes to energy consumption only drops further. In fact, if the appliance is left too long and is affected by rust, corrosion or damaged internal circuits then it could even cause your home’s electrical system to short circuit or blow out.

Each of the home appliances has its own mode of functioning and requires specialized care and attention to certain details like coils, filters and external switches and controls. Though the general thumb rule is to make sure an overall level of cleanliness is maintained, here are a few things to keep a check on when it comes to individual appliance systems.

Air Conditioners – Filters and Coils

HVAC Maintenance tips

The first step to maintaining your home appliances effectively is getting acquainted with its major functioning processes and parts.

Filters and coils are the life of an air conditioner, the former keeping the airflow steady and clean and the latter doing the actual cooling and temperature stabilization within the machine.

A routine cleaning of air filters and replacement them when just cleaning is no longer sufficient is essential to keeping your air conditioner in a suitable working condition. When air filters get blocked with dust, grime and larger particles, the normal airflow is obstructed and the appliance uses a much larger amount of energy to pump in the same amount of air, making it an inefficient use of power. The dust that has settled will also transfer to the coil, creating a layer of insulation that will hamper its capacity to absorb heat. Adding to that, the filter will be unable to serve its primary purpose of purifying the air, and the room will gradually get laden with dust, causing allergies and other respiratory issues.

Depending on the climatic conditions of where you stay, or even if you have furry cats and dogs in the house, the need to clean the filter may become more frequent. Dust storms, humid weather causing the filter to get damp and clogged and a lot of dust being sucked into the filter can have the energy consumption of your air conditioner to drop anywhere from 5% to 15%, if not more. Also, check if your filters are reusable or have to be replaced after a certain period of time, because after a point, cleaning a non-reusable filter doesn’t help.

Dirt and grime aren’t isolated in only the filter; the evaporator coil and condenser coil of an air conditioner collect layers of dust as well. As the whole purpose of the coil is to act as a conductor, when an insulative layer settles on it, its ability to heat and cool reduces, reducing the effectivity of the cooling system as a whole. This, in turn, sucks at more energy to keep down the temperature of the room. Usually, a clean filter helps keep coils clean for longer, but eventually they too need to be cleaned.

Condenser units which are outside must be maintained as well, as they collect dust and debris very easily. Any obstruction to the airflow around them can be the cause of overheating and excess energy usage.

Washing Machine

Washing machine: effective way to maintenance of home appliances

While the maintenance of an air conditioner is dependent on the air around your home, a washing machine’s upkeep is dependent almost entirely on the quality of water. Besides a general use of baking soda and detergent to run empty cycles and keep the machine fresh and smelling good, descaling and cleaning out lint are two essential tasks on your hand.

If you stay in a part of town that gets hard water supply, then cleaning your washer drum with an empty hot water cycle once a month is crucial. You can add a decalcifier right from your kitchen – either baking soda or white vinegar – to the hot water, or use a commercial decalcifier available in any supermarket.

The filter and pores of the washing machine are a part of keeping the drum fresh and dry, so make sure you check for any caught dirt, lint or hair in the filter and clean it out at least once a month.  

Once the drum is clean and sparkly, shift your attention to the dryer. Invariably, a normal weight load shouldn’t take more than an hour to dry, at most. If the speed is dropping below this, or the dryer still gives you partially damp clothes after a full cycle, then it’s a good idea to check the vents and get them cleaned or replaced. A damaged dryer vent could be dangerous even when it comes heating up of the appliance, which could cause internal short-circuiting or even fires.

You can choose to call a professional, a vent replacement shouldn’t cost more than $100. If you prefer to check and clean yourself, start by removing the exhaust from the back of the washer-dryer, clean out the clogged lint in the crevices, and inside the tubes and opening in the back. You can use a long thin object to help you reach the narrow crevices, but don’t use anything sharp that can scratch off the film and cause more damage.

Refrigerator – Coils and Water Filter

Refrigerator or Fridge, home appliance maintenance tips for Homeowners

Any clogging of coils in a refrigerator directly obstructs the flow of air, making the generator unit of the machine use up more energy and work much harder to maintain the temperature inside the unit. Any debris can cause the coil to clog up, from dirt and dust to pet hair and particle lint. Use a rag to dust off the visible portions of the coil – usually located in a panel beside the door or at the back of the unit – and then do one quick round of vacuuming to make sure all the fine dust is taken care off.

The water filter in the refrigerator serves the purpose of purification as well as temperature moderation of the water in the ducts. If the filter’s working is compromised due to impurities, then there is a chance that you are being exposed to contaminated water. The process of replacing the filter is specific to each model of refrigerator, but it is usually a simple turn on either side to unlock the old filter from its place and lock in the new one. Replacing the filter at least 3 to 4 times a year is usually recommended.

Garbage Disposal

How to resolve issue with Garbage Disposal?

A home appliance that is all about hygiene and is used on a daily basis, a broken garbage disposal can be a very difficult thing to deal with even for just a few days. To keep the foul smells, residue, and grime in check in the chute, a simple home remedy is to use a combination of ice cubes and either salt or white vinegar to sanitize it. Pour in the mixture, wash it down with cold water and then turn it on, adding activated carbon or lime peels and slices to cut out the odor.  

Oven and Microwaves – Self-cleaning and Otherwise

Ovens and Microwave maintenance, essential tips

Ovens that are self-cleaning are usually easy to maintain, but it is important to run regular cleaning cycles before the inside of the appliance is too caked with grease and food particles. A self-cleaning oven cuts out the need for chemical cleaning agents, using temperatures up to 900 degrees (Fahrenheit) to incinerate the leftovers within the oven and smoke them out.

Regular cleaning, in this case, is necessary to make sure that the smoke production in each cycle is kept to a minimum; it helps to use a soft absorbent pad and dust off the larger particles beforehand.

Ovens that do not have a self-cleaning preset must be maintained regularly and very carefully as well, especially since grease residue can cause fires and malfunctions in the thermostat, especially if the vent is clogged and doesn’t allow for fumes to escape. Warning: commercial cleaning compounds are safe to use but should never reach close to the electrical connections inside, or the heating elements as it could cause disaster reactions.

Microwaves can be maintained by just sponging them down on the inside and out to remove any dirt and spills. Check regularly if the door seal shut tightly, and in the case of an abrasion call for a professional to service it. If you feel the need to handle issues of smells within the microwave, one trick is to use a diluted mix of baking soda and water – keeping it to heat inside the appliance and removing it once it has completely cooled down.

Home Warranty for Home Appliances

While home appliances come with manufacturer warranties of their own, our usage of home appliances far surpasses the given period during which this warranty serves its purposes. What is more, when we buy a home then often home appliances come with it, many out of warranty or even maintenance.

Both in terms of cost effective servicing as well as hassle free problem solving, investment in a Home Warranty scheme can help you through every step of the process. From identifying the problem at hand to repair and replacement, companies provide unlimited support all year around on all your home’s major appliances and systems, giving you the freedom to delegate.

To know more about how to get yourself warranty, what coverage schemes are available, individual state laws and companies which are highly rated, scroll through the articles, reviews and guides on HomeWarrantyReviews.com – comprehensive information right from the consumer.




At HomeWarrantyReviews.com, we strive harder to bring you honest articles that help you decide in buying home warranty plans from over 90+ companies listed with us and over 25 thousand reviews to skim through. This article is all about annual savings from home warranty plans.

Now given for a fact, all of us would like to have a great deal, be it on any day (not only on Memorial Day or Thanksgiving or Christmas, gotcha!). So we decided to help you make an informed decision and save you dollars which could obviously prolong and protect your budget for unforeseen circumstances.

Annual Savings From Home Warranty Plans

Here are ways to Estimate Home Maintenance Costs and it’s good to know Which Appliances Break Most Oftenwhen you plan to buy an optimal home warranty as per your needs. And we’ve also got a free get quote tool for you to know what’s best in your area. Why don’t you give it a spin!

Choosing The Right Home Warranty

From $70 being shelled out to a repair executive to the individual appliances consuming more than $200 at one go, you could save plenty of dollars if you knew how to choose the right Home Warranty Plan.

Firstly, a homeowner with a new place to crash doesn’t need a home warranty, you’re covered by the builder’s insurance policy for up to a year. Then there’s life expectancy for the new appliances, so you could safely assume that it’s not gonna burn a hole in your pocket for the first few years. The danger mark is when one approaches the 4 year tenure and upwards of it.

Secondly, assume that your home is over 12 years old and isn’t maintained at scheduled intervals (read it as faulty appliances, leaky pipeline, paint fading, shabby interiors, you get the picture!), then even if you have the most amazing home warranty plan on the planet, your claims could get rejected. Home warranty companies seek for schedules of maintenance and keep in mind that not everything is covered and that the service executive could also charge the deductible and not get the appliance working, crazy right? It’s more likely to boil down to the individual state of affairs and policy-to-policy variations. (Clauses, subclauses and more!).

If you’re not covered under a policy at this juncture, then the regular service executive charges something around $70 per hour, also keep in mind that you’ll be charged for extra hours. You’d definitely want to think if you want to repair the appliance or replace the appliance, most would stick to the later option.

Lastly, here lies the category of pivotal importance. The sweet spot of 4 to 10 years during which every homeowner must have a home warranty policy. Now, let me tell you why. Among all the claims, the most sought after one is the HVAC control system. The service costs can vary from as low as $80 to as high as $900, in extreme cases. The average costs hover within the price bracket of $200 to $400. And now this should get you thinking, if one appliance service repair is costing that much, then how about the remaining appliances in your home! We’ve still got the next sought after claim- water heaters, averaging again around $300 for each service repair, and adding more to the list are- swimming pools/spas, garage doors, plumbing, furnaces, washing machines, refrigerators, dishwashers and other miscellaneous appliances, which might potentially need a service. Thus, the individual average price of each appliance can shoot over $200 respectively. (That’s a Roadkill if you ask me!)

At this juncture, on a yearly basis, one can expect that at least two of the home appliances could breakdown & give you headaches which you never knew existed! Add to that the service executive’s cut, the cost of the replaced part and you’ll see yourself frowning. Whereas, the average price of one comprehensive home warranty policy is around $600, lesser than getting HVAC control system alone repaired on your own. But, if you choose wisely you’ll cover a lot of other appliances and potentially save a minimum of $1500 to $2000 in a given year. Isn’t that a pretty cool figure to save any day?

Home Warranty Benefits 

So this is why we’re all here folks, to know why Home Warranty plans are beneficial to us, in our day-to-day activities. Here’s a list of comprehensive pointers for us to ponder over-

  1. Protection against unexpected repair costs on home appliances
  2. Comprehensive protection covered in your neighborhood
  3. Expect high workmanship and professionalism, the best in business
  4. Just a call away to sort the issues at hand
  5. Most important appliances are covered in a standard policy
  6. Unlimited services and easy claim process for hassle-free operation
  7. Provides continuous protection by yearly renewals
  8. Attract first time buyers, if you plan to sell
  9. Amount of time saved can be greatly used for other activities
  10. Peace of mind for sure

Better Safe Than Sorry

The bottomline is, if you’re a homeowner falling under the 4 to 10 years age bracket, then home warranties are going to be most beneficial as elucidated. We would also urge you to search for best companies locally listed under your ZIP and find the right choice for a home warranty plan by comparing the different plans offered by top 10 companies. If you fall into other categories, fret not, and make an informed decision by checking out our extensive collection of reviews, get online, be in the know, it’s that simple! Internet is the information superhighway afterall. Happy home warranty hunting everyone!

 




Extended warranty sometimes also called as a maintenance or service agreement, is a prolonged warranty given to customers who wish to insure their fairly new devices. They are not always provided by the manufacturer and are usually procured along with or as and when the manufacturer’s warranty expires.

Such extended service agreements are often purchased for gadgets and appliances that don’t come under Home warranty. Eg. laptops, TV, desktop computers. They can be purchased over an existing manufacturer’s warranty so that damages due to accidents are also covered.  They cover repairs and replacements of the insured device for a fixed period of time, which is usually around 2-3 years.

Do I need extended warranty?

If you are wondering whether you need an extended appliance protection plans or not, consider this –

You have a reasonably new device which cost you a lot. It is still covered by it’s manufacturer’s warranty but you are not certain if that will be enough. You fear that accidental damages may occur and you cannot afford to repair or replace the device if it happens. If this is what is going through your head, we recommend that you purchase an extended warranty.

There are quite a few advantages that make you want to consider buying an extended appliance protection plans. Here are a few of them:

  • Extended warranty agrees to repair or replace your appliances if it breaks down after the manufacturer’s warranty expires.
  • They cover most of the electrical and mechanical damages.
  • You may never have to claim anything on your manufacturer’s warranty as the chances of a device failing in the first 12 months of it’s life are low.
  • They are easy to acquire and they give you peace of mind.
  • Almost all major appliances can be covered with an extended warranty.

Although, the advantages may seem great, some experts have the opinion that extended warranty is a waste of money. This is because a decent appliance/gadget manufactured by a reputable company stands very little chance to fail in the first 2 years. It has been noted that retailers make huge profits from extended protection plans as very few consumers claim them.

Also, when it comes to electronic gadgets, it sometimes makes more sense in replacing it with a new one rather than repairing the damaged one. These days you can get a DVD player for around $30, so why then would you spend $20 repairing your damaged DVD player?

Technology is advancing at a very fast pace, unless your device is precious and expensive, we suggest that you think twice and explore a few options before you purchase extended warranty.

You may want to look at the repair rates of the various gadgets in the first 3 years of their lives and then decide if you need to go for an extended protection plan. However, the same cannot be said of Home Warranty, which is always recommended for most homes.

If you feel you don’t need an extended warranty as your appliances are 4+ years old, the best option for you would be a Home Warranty. Find out more about Home Warranty and Home Warranty Companies!

Buying Extended WarrantySource: CBS News

Extended Warranty vs. Home Warranty

extended warranty vs home warranty

Things to keep in mind

While you consider purchasing an extended warranty, ensure that you contemplate on all the points that follow.

  • Contract Terms and Conditions

Make sure that you know how the plan works. Read through the terms and conditions mentioned in both the contract as well as the policy booklet. Understand what damages are covered and what damages are omitted.

  • Term of coverage

All extended warranties do not have the same duration of coverage. The term can vary anywhere between 6 months to 3 years. Be clear on this.

  • Extra charges

Beware of this one. In certain cases you will have to ship your damaged gadget to some other location. If this happens you will have to pay the shipping charges. Not only this, there could be several cases where you will have to spend extra money in addition to the amount you pay for availing the warranty. You can speak to the retailer to clear any doubts you have regarding this.

  • Comparison shopping

A lot of warranty companies are out there that sell extended warranty. Sometimes  it makes sense to consider a few options before you jump into a decision and purchase extended warranty from the retailer. Some companies offer plans that cover a group of devices instead of a single device. These may be much more profitable that purchasing one warranty for a single gadget.

  • Credit card benefits

Before you purchase an extended warranty, check with the bank issuing your credit card to know if you are automatically entitled to an extended warranty if you make a purchase with the card. In certain cases, platinum and gold cards offer this feature to customers.

Getting an extended warranty is not a bad idea. However we urge you to go through everything carefully before you purchase an extended warranty from the retailer. Extended warranties, like we said are only for a single appliance/gadget. While they are not pricey as such, sometimes, for homeowners with ageing appliances find Home Warranty plans more ideal. They are affordable and cover a host of appliances and not just a single one. If you think, an appliance warranty plan is what you need, take a look at the top 10 home warranty companies in the U.S.A. Good luck!




Farming is not an activity which can only be done in a vast plane area; it can also be confined to your house, home or an apartment. Sounds appealing, isn’t it? It isn’t a mammoth task, after all, it is feasible and easy! For starters, here are some tips on where to start from, to have a fun-filled family activity like Urban Farming and get health benefits too!

Essentials For Urban Farming In Your Apartment

Finding A Perfect Location

Urban Farming In Your Homes

A balcony or a patio would be the first option coming to your mind. It essentially should be your first option because it receives plenty of sunlight and has open spaces. One more benefit is that it will keep the soil away from the inner area of your home. You can beautifully decorate the plants on both sides by keeping a path for walking!

The front or backyard is all you have if you are a resident of a lower level. With a lot of unused space, a collective farming can also be put in. Although it might not be an ideal area to dig in for farming, you can line up containers and start growing them.

A fire escape can be a new way of urban farming. After leaving a little space for the footpath, place your containers in the landing. Even though it has limited space, it can be useful to grow something for yourself.

The handrails! Yes, you heard it right. With the same method you used for the fire escape, handrails can also be used to grow one or more produces for oneself.

Walls, for instance, provide a lot of space for vertical gardening that needs to be clamped to the wall. Thus, they should be followed up with asking for permission from your landlord.

Windowsill boxes are better than the walls as they do not need to be secured. You can just lay some containers with no other extra attachments.

Method Of Urban Farming To Be Used

  • The Vertical Farming: The best way to utilize the available space in an apartment is to go for the practice of vertical farming. It is also called the Green Wall wherein, it helps to reduce the overall temperature of the building. Green walls are also used as a piece of art. It can be installed in the balcony, the outside walls of the building or inner areas of apartment such as the living spaces.
  • Pot gardening: A method used extensively across the urban farming sector is the Pot gardening. It ranges from small teacups to automatic irrigation system. Containers are easily movable and can be customized to any sort of balcony. The things to keep in mind while going for a container gardening is to make sure the drainage is loose and provides proper aeration to the roots.
  • Square Footing Garden: These type of Urban farming is ideal for a terrace or balcony. If one wishes to grow a variety of crops in a limited space, Square Footing garden is the best option. It only takes an initial effort to construct a raised bed with soil fills. Soon after, it is sure to yield a wide variety of organic produce. Let alone a Square Foot Garden, a raised bed has its own benefits. It prevents the unwanted weed/grass growth around the square foot.

Sun Conditions

An essential need for all plants to grow is sufficient sunlight, without which plants wither away. Typically, a plant needs minimum 6 hours of sunlight a day for its full growth. But in an Urban Farming setup in an apartment, what we primarily lack is also sunlight. Due to various problems with other apartment or roofs barricading the sun rays, it is quite a task to find spaces where it is possible to grow a crop.

It is advisory to assess the amount of sunlight received in your apartment for some days. Either by making a note of it or by clicking pictures of spaces you are planning to grow crops every one hour, it is necessary to understand the pattern of sunlight received.

After the above task is done, the next step is to evaluate which space will be suitable for your Urban Farming. And this should be according to the maximum amount of sunlight received.

What Crop To Grow

A lot of other questions have to be answered before we decide what to grow in your Apartment.

Prefer to a grow a crop you and your family prefer to consume. It is a total unworthy effort if you plan to grow a crop you don’t like consuming yourself. By raising a crop you like, it doubles your satisfaction that you have a farm all by yourself and can consume it with all your heart.

Decide on the purpose for which you are setting up the farm. If your motive is commercial, it is better to choose a crop that yields high income when you sell. It needs a study of the market value of various crops that can be grown in an apartment set-up. After that, decide which will be feasible and meanwhile profitable to you.

The climate conditions are also essential things to keep in mind while you are planning to set up an Urban Farm. Certain Herbs, Vegetables, and Flowers grow only at a specific temperature. Thus seasons are also one thing to check before you start on with the farm.

Home Warranty For Urban Farmers

Any activity related to farming needs an added focus. Besides watering and adding fertilizers to the crops, there exists a task of maintaining the various machines used for farming.

Be it a lawnmower or a container garden, a frequent inspection is an essential activity for extending their life. However, as the produce keeps growing, it demands multi-tasking.

But here’s the easy way! HomeWarrantyReviews.com provides a hassle-free affair of managing all the repairs and maintenance. By listing out to you Various Home Maintenance Companies, Home Warranty Reviews brings to you many options to choose from. To know more about your spot estimates, A Home Maintenance Calculator can be a relief for any Urban Farmer.

So why wait? All you need is to find a place and plant your favorite crop. Connect with roots. Connect with nature. Feel the magic of farming in your apartment!




Buying a home is a cherished dream for many first time home buyers, a sort of milestone if you will. A home will probably be the most expensive purchase you ever make in your lifetime, which is why a lot of thought and consideration is given to it. For most home buyers, especially, first timers, the financial cost alone is monumental. If you are someone who is planning to buy a home for the first time, we’d like to warn you about some of the biggest challenges that you will face.

First time home buyers

For convenience, we’ve sorted the challenges into two categories – Financial challenges and maintenance challenges. Let’s begin with the financial challenges.

Major Financial Challenges: For The First Time Home Buyers 

Down Payment

Most buyers cannot afford to pay the entire price in one go. They will typically opt to get a home loan. However, even if you do opt for a home loan, you will still have to pay the down payment, which is a lump sum anywhere between 3%-20% of the sales price of the house. This is often a rather big amount which you will have to arrange yourself. The rest can be paid off with a house loan.

Credit Score

Your credit score is a numerical representation of your creditworthiness. It is often used to estimate risk involved in lending money or resources to a person. Credit scores also decide at what rate of interest a loan should be given to you. So if you do have a house loan, your credit score will be hugely affected. Should you require a loan before your home loan is paid off, the chances are high that such a loan would either be difficult to get or would come at a high interest rate.

Tight budgets

It goes without saying that purchasing a house will take up a huge chunk of your savings. Since you’ll also be using up money to furnish/decorate your new home, you’ll most probably be left with a very tight budget leaving very little room to afford holidays or other recreational activities. You’ll also be paying monthly installments to the bank to pay off your house loan for the next decade or so which would mean that the tight budget will remain tight for a very long time.

Home Maintenance Challenges: For The First Time Home Buyers

Maintaining a home in good condition is no easy task. It is not pocket friendly either, especially when the home is 4+ years old. First time home buyers find home maintenance very taxing, mostly because they are new to this. So, if you are one among the first time home buyers, then here are some things you should worry about-

Leaks and Squeaks

Leaking plumbing is a messy and inconvenient event. It could also cause further damages to the house. Fixing one requires skill and sometimes hefty sums of money. Leaks are one of the most common issues reported by first time home buyers and handling it will require the services of a skilled plumber.

Appliance Breakdowns

Possibly the most expensive kind of maintenance challenge that you will encounter is an appliance breaking down. Big appliances like built-in refrigerators or the HVAC units cost a lot and replacing them could cost you heavily. Sometimes a repair job could fix the issue, but even that requires the skills of an experienced technician and some amount of money.

Preparing Yourself For That Big Purchase

Houses or any kind of property are often considered as solid investments with a very little scope for depreciation. Hence, buying a home is often positively encouraged. Although they are expensive, they could be an asset unlike any other in the long run.

If you did buy a home, your homeowner duties don’t end there. Home maintenance, like we said before, is not an easy or cheap task. This is why most American homeowners swear by a home warranty plan. For older homes, an appliance warranty plan is your best bet for budget protection. They are affordable and come in wide range of coverages. All you need to do is alert your home warranty company when there is a breakdown and you can get the repair done at a nominal fee! Also, it is strongly recommended that you get a home inspection done before moving in to reveal potential damages with the house. It will also help you in deciding whether you need to look for another house if the damages are too many. We also recommend that you read up on whether your need a home warranty or not.

If this article got you worried, we would like to sincerely apologize. We were merely giving out pointers on what to expect when you don the shoes of a homeowner. And like we said, buying a home is a serious step and it comes with an immense sense of accomplishment for many. So if you’ve found your dream home, go ahead and get it! We wish you all the very best with your new home. Cheers!




Fastening the seat belts snug around your son when you drive him to school, looking both sides before crossing the road – every individual has been hardwired to keep themselves and their loved ones safe in every circumstance. While we deem our homes safe, secure and padlocked, domestic hazards of fires are rampant, leading to thousands of death every year in our country alone. We, child-proof our electrical sockets and cabinet doors, but what about FIRE SAFETY?

Fire safety is your TOP Priority!

From an aromatherapy candle standing lit too close to a curtain to unchecked damaged wiring systems, residential fire deaths are most often from toxic gas and smoke inhalation. More than the actual contact with flames and first degree burns. Closed domestic spaces with no secondary exits and ventilation can be a fire safety risk and danger to lives involved. So this puts fire safety on every homeowners’ checkbox to deal with.

In order to help you with equipping you and your family, with fire safety measures, we have compiled all of the Precautions, DIY tricks, and checklists to keep you safe, prepared. Never get caught off guard with our 14 tips to fire safety at home:

1.      Smoke Alarms

No one can keep track of every room, store, and gallery throughout the day and night. Step one is keeping an eye out, and the only way to do that right is by installing smoke alarms. An adequate number of suitable spaces, especially the kitchen, attic, and basement, can go a long way when it comes to being aware of the slightest possible hazard. Smoke Alarms are such a pivotal piece of the puzzle in the fighting against untoward incidents of a fire breaking out and are your primary line of defense to have fire safety at home.

Where there’s smoke, there’s fire – and no doubt, smoke detectors are not something you can choose to skip. In fact, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, and local fire departments in almost every state have passed the installation of smoke alarms in domestic as well as commercial spaces as a compulsory requirement. The government also has extensive fire safety guides online, from precautionary measures to what to do afterward.

2.      Exits Routes

Even though having an exit plan is essential for everyone for fire safety at your homes, it becomes ever so important in a home with children, grandparents, and joint family structures. It may not always be possible to find and reach out to everyone at a moment’s notice, not to mention smoke makes visibility a near impossibility. Draw out the best escape route from each space in the home, make sure every member of the household understands it – especially your children. A few drills aren’t a bad idea!

3.      Easy Accessibility to the Outside

Knowing where to get out from isn’t enough. Rummaging for keys and fighting with a jammed lock or handle can be a matter of life or death in the case of a fire. Keep all the major exit keys handy, if possible make a couple of larger grill windows on each floor openable when needed, and know that a stuck door isn’t only irritating but also could turn out to be dangerous.

4.      Unattended Flame

It may be obvious, but most of us land up taking a candle or two for granted once in awhile. Check the gas stove in the kitchen, scented candles in the bath and any use of oil burners at regular intervals. Never leave the home or turn in for the night leaving these burning.

5.      Lint Filter

It seems harmless, but lint filters in your washer dryer must be cleaned regularly. Lint is highly inflammable, and the smallest electrical spark it may be exposed to can cause a fire.

6.      Cigarettes and Alcohol

If you’re a smoker or happen to have a cocktail party at home, a little extra caution is called for. A cigarette butt was thrown without being stubbed out, and that combined with a little spirit spilt on the floor can instantly cause a flame that may not always be easy to control.

It can also be that the cigarette butt can cause a fire in the garden if you have dry leaves on the ground. Remember, a spark is what it takes for a raging fire!

7.      Winter Heating Appliances

Summer causes overloading of electrical appliances, but the dry winter air and numerous heating appliances are just as dangerous. Heater, fireplaces in the living room and electric blankets all have to be used with caution and preferably given time to cool off for at least a few hours every day.

8.      Electrical Wiring

Overloading electrical sockets, not matching the voltage of appliances with circuits they are connected to, and ill-functioning appliances are some of the most common reasons for domestic fires. Regularly check your wiring system for any wear and tear, break and overloading.

9.      Fire Safety for Children

Children and how fire safety matters

Instilling the simple rule that all implements of fire – match sticks, lighters, gas burners – are not toys for your children to play around with is not just to prevent burnt fingers. The smallest flame around the house can get out of control. So fire safety should be inculcated in the young ones for it keeps them safe from future fire hazards.

10.   Inflammable Substances in Storage

Keep chemicals and fuels that are inflammable in your line of sight as far as possible. A forgotten can of fuel in the basement or garage even causes an explosion during a residential fire.

11.   Outdoors

Your garden, porch, and backyard can be prone to fire as well. A pile of dry leaves left unattended or a home next to open areas that are prone to bushfires can be just as hazardous as a can of fuel. Such outdoor spaces, combined with a parked car outside, can often snowball into a full blown fire. So make sure that all of your family members are adhering to the fire safety standards being set, both inside and outside of your home.

12.   Ventilation

Carbon Monoxide poisoning is a big part of toxic gas inhalation during a house fire, and ventilation is the only way to take precautions from it.

13.   Things We Take for Granted

Over and above all that, there are a few things that everyone should know in case you are facing a fire. First, smoke in closed spaces hampers visibility to almost nil, making maneuvering through rooms rather difficult. Second, a fire at night requires smoke alarms, as smoke in the bedroom doesn’t wake you up – in fact, it put you into an even deeper state of sleep.  

Thirdly, know that you aren’t a trained fireman, and taking matters into your own hands can only complicate things. At any sign of a fire, get out of the building, call for help and wait before you go back in.

Lastly, have fire extinguishers in place. Make sure that all of the family members know where it is and must be ideally placed where everyone can quickly reach at. Also, have regular maintenance on your fire extinguishers so that they don’t fail when you need it the most!

14.   Emergency Numbers

Last but definitely not the least, basic emergency numbers should be kept handy, not only on a mobile phone but also written down and kept visible on the refrigerator or next to the front door. Calling 911 or the local fire department immediately can save both lives and avoid property damage.

Aftermath – Repair, Home Warranty, and Home Insurance

If such an event were to occur, and injuries were prevented, property and appliance damage to some extent is inevitable. The financial stress it can put you in can be kept at bay at least to a certain extent through Home Insurance. In fact, investing in Home Insurance can be a precautionary measure as well.

Most often, Home Warranty does not cover fire-related damage to property, wiring systems, and appliances, but having your home secured with Home Insurance as well as Home Warranty can make sure each coverage makes up for the other. Warranty and Insurance have been structured in a way so as to not have overlapping claims, making each unique and essential in their own way.

Going forward, make sure that you also do a thorough research on companies offering home insurances and home warranties. A dollar saved is as good a dollar earned, when you successfully file a claim!

 




Your home is the center of your everyday life and possibly your most valued asset. When your home is destroyed or damaged, you want your claim sorted out by an insurance company that realizes this simple fact. A right homeowners’ insurance company best meets your needs and provides you with the most valuable blend of quality service, custom-made coverage, and fair pricing in policies.

Am I Required To Have Home Insurance If I Own A Home?

Depending on where you live – an apartment, house, or condominium – the right home insurance plan can give you peace of mind along with the money you need to replace or repair your home and/or stuff. Home insurance policies vary by the type of coverage you choose, the losses covered and the type of residence you own. You pick a policy that is best for you, whether it’s an all-inclusive policy that covers losses such as smoke, fire, falling objects, and theft of personal property, or whether it’s a policy that covers specified losses.

New age policies for American Homeowner

Your home insurance plan is made up of the precise options you select. The amount you pay for your policy depends on what coverage you buy, how much you want to cover, and where you set your limits. There are many types of homeowners policies available when once you decide to be a homeowner or not. The most significant part of homeowners insurance is the level of coverage. Avoid paying for more than you require. Below are the most common levels of coverage.

  •  HO-1 & HO-2 – Broad policy that guards against 16 perils that are stated in the policy
  •  HO-3 – Covers the structure against all perils except those specifically excluded by the policy
  •  HO-4 – If you rent or lease your home, you need a renters policy to cover your personal property and liability
  • HO-5 – Premium policy that guards newer, well-maintained homes; it covers against all perils except those specifically excluded by the policy
  •  HO-6 – Insurance for co-ops/condominiums, which includes liability coverage, personal property coverage, and coverage of improvements to the owner’s unit
  • HO-7 – Similar to an HO-3 policy, but for mobile homes
  •  HO-8 – Policy particularly for older homes, with similar coverage to an HO-2 policy. However, it only covers actual cash value. In Florida, many insurers are offering this policy

Comprehending Your Policy

As insurance policies come in many shapes and sizes, the same is true for insurance companies and agents, who can charge different rates for the same coverage. Bigger insurers are not always better and small don’t essentially have the best customer service. So, it’s always good to shop around for the top deals and ask the precise questions in an attempt to know what you are really receiving.

Prior to signing on the dotted line, you should understand that not all homeowners policies are the same. This is always one of the most common misinterpretations about insurance. According to a survey, more than a third of the homeowners said they did not have or didn’t identify if they had adequate homeowners insurance coverage. In 2005, after Hurricane Katrina affected the city of New Orleans, and again in 2012, when Superstorm Sandy damaged numerous communities in New York and New Jersey, thousands of worried survivors got a rude shock when they found their standard homeowners’ policies did not cover flood damage.

Additional Insurance And Endorsements

Many catastrophic events are not covered in the basic homeowner’s policy, but they are still insurable and require additional levels of insurance. In some cases, homeowners need entirely different policies, which are usually several times costlier than the typical homeowners’ premium. Some homes are situated in high-risk areas such as flood, hurricanes and earthquake zones, which make buying additional insurance a top priority for these homeowners. Instead of the usual $250 to $1,000 deductible under basic coverage, you have to shell out 1 to 5% of your home’s insured value (up to 10% in Florida).

Hurricane season is an old threat for many residents living along the southeastern coast of the U.S. Hurricane Matthew, which made arrival on Oct 8, 2016, left an expected $6 billion worth of property loss in its devastation across states such as Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, and Virginia. If you live in a region that is prone to hurricanes, you must have certain emergency plans in place. Homeowners in hurricane-prone areas need to act fast to file damage claims with their insurance firms. For instance, if your home is insured for $200,000 and your plan has a 3% deductible for hurricanes, you will have to expend $6,000 out-of-pocket on a storm-related claim.

Some Popular Endorsements And Extra Policies Include:

  •  Guaranteed Replacement Cost Coverage – A policy that pays to reconstruct your home completely, even if the cost is above your policy limits. You can expect to pay $400 to $1,000 more in premiums each year for this endorsement
  • Inflation Guard – A policy that automatically raises your dwelling coverage limit yearly in proportion to inflation, so that your limits are at least 80% of its value. Incremental premium increases in relation to the limit are often charged when the policy is renewed
  • Personal Umbrella Liability Insurance – A policy that broadly covers assets. It increases your liability coverage above the limits available in any of your “basic” policies, comprising auto, boat, and homeowners insurance. Umbrella coverage can extend to other excluded coverages, such as the invasion of privacy, false arrest, and slander, which can kick in once your primary coverage is exhausted. Premiums for this coverage begin at around $150 to $300 per year for $1 million in coverage, an additional $75 for $2 million, and $50 extra per year for each additional $1 million in coverage
  • Scheduled Personal Property – A policy that covers high-value objects such as stamps, jewelry, coins, antiques, guns, computers, furs, and other items that could go beyond the limits of your homeowner’s policy

Creating Your Home Inventory

When you buy a homeowners insurance policy, one of the must have insurance policies, you must prepare the latest home inventory to speed up a claim settlement if you ever need to make one. A complete home inventory, help your insurance company verify the property easier, which in turn makes settling your claim easy. Additionally, you can validate losses for your income tax return with the latest home inventory without any hassles.

For many homeowners, insurance is something to be thought of again, i.e., until the worst occurs. Homeowners who wait until they experience a loss before assessing their own policies do not get the full value – may be little value – out of their incalculable premium payments.

Homeowners insurance is a monetary agreement, but it should also be treated as a living entity to be cherished over time. By reading your policy wisely, shopping around for the suitable agent, comprehending your coverage limits, and create an updated property inventory.




Claim denial is an incident in which a home warranty company rejects a customer’s request for repair service. Sometimes customer claims are legit and fully entitled to receive services stated as per the contract. Claim denials are considered to be a major reason behind spats between service contract companies and the customer.

While some claims are denied for genuine reasons, some customers argue that companies deny claims on vague grounds often stating fine print from the contract. Yet, there are also cases where the companies were falsely accused of unfair claim denial solely because the customer failed to understand the terms mentioned in the home service contract.

What we need to understand is that not all companies deny claims unfairly because doing so will severely damage their reputation. So unless there is a valid reason, reputable companies will not deny a customer’s claims randomly.

Let’s take a look at some common reasons for claim denials

1. Appliance is not covered

This is often the most common reason for denying a claim. Most service contracts only cover a fixed set of appliances and not everything in your house. If your home service contract provider gives you this reason, go check your contract and make sure that the appliance is indeed not covered. In case you find that it is a covered item, place further calls to the company and let them know that the as per the contract, the item is covered.

Home Warranty Claim Denials2. Appliance is not maintained properly

No home service contract covers an appliance that has become damaged due to lack of maintenance. Regular wear and tear is not caused due to insufficient maintenance. It is the result of prolonged, proper usage. It is the homeowner’s duty to carry out regular maintenance routines, especially for HVAC appliances. However, if you believe that the damage is not caused due to insufficient maintenance, tell the company that you need to get a second opinion from a different contractor.

3. The damage is pre-existing

Home service contract providers often tell the customer that the damage was one that existed even before the contract was signed and hence it will not be covered. There’s hardly anything you can do about such a denial. However, you can avoid chances for such disputes by making sure that you get a home inspection done prior to signing the contract. That way the home inspector’s report will clearly state about what appliance has what damage. If it is not in the report and if the item is covered, you may be entitled to a repair service.

4. Unusual wear and tear

Wear and tear due to regular usage and wear and tear due to rough handling and careless usage can be distinguished quite easily. If the damage was caused due to the latter kind of wear and tear, your claim stands a chance to be denied. In this scenario too, you can ask for a another contractor to get a second opinion if you disagree on the diagnosis.

5. Code Violations and improper installation

If the appliance was not properly installed and if it violates the codes laid down for safe use and installation, chances are high that your claim may be denied.

What should a customer do when claims are denied?

It goes without saying that the policy booklet, the contract and the inspection report, if any, must be preserved carefully. The moment you realise that your claim has been denied, go through your contract and policy document to make sure that the claim is denied purely based on the terms in the contract. If you have a home inspection report go through that too. If you feel that your claim has been unjustly denied, you can call the home service contract company again and press the issue.

You can also visit review websites and post a review about your experience. HomeWarrantyReviews.com has a feature called the Complaint Resolution Program (CRP) which is a platform for companies and their customers to resolve their issues. The customer merely needs to report his negative experience with HomeWarrantyReviews.com, following this, he will be asked if wants to take part is CRP. If he/she chooses to participate in it, the company will be notified about his/her grievance and will be given 30 days to respond/ sort it out. If the company fails to respond or resolve the issue, the customer’s negative review becomes public. Some review websites allows their users to resolve the issues with the contract provider by communicating with them through a specific platform. The advantage of this system is that if the home service provider fails to resolve the issue for the customer or fail to respond within a time frame, the review becomes public, thereby affecting the rating and reputation of the company. Most companies do not want that.

Whatever the reason could be, we request customers to make things clear before they react to a claim denial. It could be that the company is not at fault here and because of a misunderstanding, their name gets tarnished. Most of the unpleasant scenarios can be avoided if the company you pick is reputable. Hence we cannot stress enough on the importance of picking the right company, a good home service contract provider will always put the interests of the customer first. Remember, good communication is often the solution to the biggest of problems.




HomeWarrantyReviews.com provides readers with a free resource unlike any other online.  Our reviews and articles about home warranty companies are unbiased, unlike other websites you might visit these days.  We do not give preferential treatment in our ratings, reviews, or articles to companies based on what the companies pay us in marketing fees.  Due to that objectivity, readers like you can count on what appears here to be fair and in most cases free of editorial content.  

In this series of articles, we let members of the home warranty industry talk about their companies.  Please keep in mind that these interviews are not endorsements of companies.  They’re meant to be a forum in which readers can get to know the companies direct from the source.

Select Home Warranty

 

In this piece, we’ll share a conversation with a New Jersey based home warranty company, Select Home Warranty. Recently Home Warranty Reviews talked with Joseph Shrem, a manager at Select Home Warranty about their home warranty offering.

What is it about Select Home Warranty’s offering to homeowners that makes it so valuable?

Your home is most likely the biggest purchase you make in your lifetime. At Select Home Warranty we understand this and our job is to protect this investment.

With service costs rising and newer appliances having more sophisticated electronic parts and not built to last as long as they did decades ago, home warranties are viewed more as insurance, giving homeowners the peace of mind of knowing their costs are controlled and not having to go without a working appliance or dipping into savings to take care of an unexpected breakdown.

What sorts of items are covered in Select Home Warranty’s home warranty plans?

Coverage Details

Select Home Warranty offers coverage on a wide variety of services nationwide such as air conditioning, heating, plumbing, electrical, and appliance repairs. We also offer flexible programs to custom-tailor the amount and type of coverage to meet our customer’s specific needs. Homeowners can also obtain coverage for their pool equipment, septic systems, lawn equipment, sump pumps and more!

Home warranty customers are obviously looking for cost savings when things around their homes break down.  But do you find your customers are also looking for convenience?

Along with financial security, comes the peace of mind of knowing that the hassle of dealing with a break-down is taken care of as well. Select Home Warranty has a large network of independent service technicians who are on standby, ready to help you with your home. Our technicians are well trained to assist you with any type of issue you may have. We are partnered with top of the line contractors around the country.  We don’t want our customers to scramble to get a service appointment or find the right contractor. As the provider, we also want to make sure the job is done quickly and correctly.

Automation is the buzzword in almost any industry these days.  Do you feel like automated customer service is the right approach?

Select Home Warranty’s top priority is servicing our customers. With around-the-clock professional staff, we strive to make ourselves available to answer questions, whether it’s regarding coverage or a claim.  

If you represent a home warranty company and would like to see your company featured in a future interview on HomeWarrantyReviews.com, please let us know!

If you are a reader with questions about this home warranty company or other home warranty companies, please visit our top home warranty companies page or our home page, where you can search for any company by name.

Select Home Warranty was founded in 2012 and is headquartered in Mahwah, New Jersey.  The company markets its service contracts to current owners, sellers, buyers, and real estate professionals who regularly assist their clients with decisions about home warranties.  Select Home Warranty provides a number of web services on their corporate site, including information for contractors who wish to join the company’s network of service professionals.  Existing customers can also submit claims online via a brief form on Select Home Warranty’s website.  Readers who are interested in obtaining a price and coverage quote from Select Home Warranty may do so here on HomeWarrantyReviews.com, via the company’s website, or by phone.




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.




Purchasing warranty plans for household items has become a common thing these days. Over time, it has become one of the best ways to protect your budget against unexpected repairs and replacements of damaged household devices.

A Home Warranty, sometimes called an Appliance Warranty is a contract that agrees to offer discounted repairs and replacements of the covered devices. They cover damages resulting from wear and tear and hence are ideally suited for houses whose appliances are over 4 years old.

insurance on appliances

Home warranties differ from homeowner’s insurances in the fact that the latter covers damages and losses resulting from natural hazards or crimes while appliance warranty covers damages due to regular wear and tear. You can never replace a homeowner’s insurance with a home warranty. It is generally considered that home warranties are best suited for the following people who –

  • Own appliances that are over 4-5 years old
  • Can’t afford frequent repairs and replacements
  • Do not have a trusted contractor to perform the repairs
  • Have no time for do-it-yourself repairs
  • Are owning a home for the first time

So naturally, they are not suited for people who

  • Own brand new or fairly new devices
  • Can afford expensive repairs and replacements
  • Have a trusted contractor or is a contractor himself
  • Have the time and skill for DIY repairs

There are a lot of home warranty companies offering a range of packages to suit your requirements. So never feel that you have only one option. In fact there are so many options out there that you may want to read a Home warranty buyer’s guide before you make a decision. In general, home warranties are affordable, with the annual premium ranging anywhere between $250 to $1000. The premium usually depends on the amount of coverage you are purchasing.

The advantages of owning a home warranty are many. And also, it is the closest thing you can get to peace of mind when it comes to protecting your budget. Let’s take a look at the pros.

Advantages

  • Being the repair contract that it is, home warranty takes care of repairs and replacements of damages happening to the covered device for a stated period of time. So if your appliances crash during the coverage  period, you will not have to spend much from your pocket.
  • Saves your budget from unexpected expenses due to appliance damages.
  • Almost all the major appliances and systems are covered. Electrical, plumbing, HVAC and wiring in general are included in a standard warranty plan. You can always purchase additional coverage too.
  • Each time an appliance crashes, you simply have to place a call to your service provider. They will send a technician to your doorstep to fix the issue. You have to pay a service call fee each time an issue is raised.
  • Depending on the coverage you purchased, home warranties sometimes even replace your device with a brand new one if the technician pronounces the device unrepairable.
  • Home warranties increase the value of your property at the time of sale as sellers prefer homes that are covered by appliance warranty.

If you have doubts about the devices that are covered and omitted, you can go through What is covered under Home Warranty plans to get a clearer picture. If you are still not sure if you need home warranty or not, we suggest that you read an article on “Do I need home warranty?”, this will certainly give you some guidance.

Working

Home warranty works in a very simple way. An appliance crashes and you call up the warranty company and inform them about the damage. They will ask you to give them all the necessary information like device name, manufacturer’s details, model no, batch no, and other relevant matters.

Once they collect this info, they will call up a service vendor with whom they maintain business ties. The vendor then collects your contact details to talk to you about fixing an appointment. A qualified and experienced technician then comes over to look at your device. If the repairs needed are minor, he will do them right away. However, if major repairs are needed or if parts need to be replaced, the technician waits for the approval of the home warranty company. Parts needed will be procured by the company. You will pay the service call fee to the technician when he comes to your home.

Drawbacks

This is not a free of cost arrangement. In addition to the annual premium, you will be paying a service call fee (around $50) each time you place a claim. Like a coin with two sides, home warranties too have a few drawbacks. Let’s discuss them.

  • Home warranty companies will always try to repair and not replace your damaged device.
  • Home Warranties do not cover pre-existing conditions or damages resulting from lack of maintenance. They also do not cover damages occurring due to crimes or natural hazards, that is the job of Homeowner’s insurance.
  • The technician sent over to your house will decide the extent and nature of your damage. The Home Warranty company will consider his word and not yours when it comes to determining the action to be taken up. If you have disagreements on this, contact the customer service operative of the company.
  • Claims can often be denied on unclear grounds and by stating tiny clauses from the contract which are often overlooked by customers. Ensure that you read the policy booklet and contract carefully to avoid any misunderstandings.
  • You cannot raise multiple issues in a single claim.

The bottom-line

Home warranties are indeed a great way to insure your household devices. It protects your budget too. It is necessary that you make a wise decision regarding the choice of company and warranty plan so that you make the best out of the deal. The policy booklet and the contract are vital documents and they must, without fail, be studied and preserved carefully.

You can go through reviews about various companies and their plans on our website to compare and choose the best.




This is an Article published for the Benefit of Homeowners reading our Articles regularly so that you can walk the path of sustainable energy!


There’s no denying that the onset of new, improved and environment-friendly trends is putting a damper on companies that have been functioning for centuries without much regard for the environment. Having to reestablish their production methods, use of materials and waste disposal strategies, manufacturing units being shut down as alterations are not viable to their manufacturing and market costs. The drive towards a green economy is constantly being resisted by a large section of multinational companies around the world.

Besides alterations in production strategies, the other game changer has been utility companies and their slow but hopefully steady replacement with solar and green energy demands from consumers.  As the demand for solar energy in residences begins to increase, the traditional utility industry will take a hit not only in its retails sales and day to day transactions but also in terms of an overall loss of customer base. Eventually, the industry could even become obsolete, but that’s a discussion for later.

The main trade association and executives of the utility industry have seen the onset of this impending threat, and have been calling for meetings and conferences. Using these to reach out to the electricity providers for support, utility companies have been playing a part in keeping door-to-door solar power insurgency at bay.

The Ups and Downs of Solar versus Utility

Electric and fossil fuel monopolies are right to feel the threat though, as even the individual state governments and metering laws are creating rules and instructional loopholes to encourage home solar paneling. States such as Wisconsin and Arizona, amongst others, have imposed net metering as a system of electricity billing. Through net metering, a customer who is using solar energy at home gains monthly credit for the surplus power that they produce and provide to the electricity grid of that region. Even though a small amount is to be paid additionally if net metering is voted in your state, know that your electricity bill as a solar energy consumer will be considerably lowered; enough to offset the cost of installing solar panels at the first place– hiking prices. Though it may seem that the shift is absolute, even solar energy consumers are relying on the run of the mill electricity grid during overcast winters and nighttime. A marginal reduction in daily usage is not causing any cuts in maintenance, investment capital for transmission lines, and upkeep of the grid.

Solar Vs Utility, what a Homeowner can do about it?

The debate of Solar Vs Utility still remains as two sides of a coin, with solar having on its side the bigger picture of a future green economy. Studies being conducted in individual states are most often steering towards the advent of solar as a domestic energy source causing harm to the economic balance, with an immediate counter response from environmental lobbyists. The claim is straightforward – the clean energy lobby argues that the traditional and fossil fuel powers are rigging the results and focusing on only negatives. Louisiana is one such state, where studies showed a transferal of over two million dollars to be shouldered by non-solar consumers due to the utility sales drop.

On a positive note that looks at aspects besides those that are environmental, research in states such a Mississippi and Nevada see solar as the way to go. From being able to bear the brunt of excess demand during summer months, produce almost twice as many jobs and be in tandem with the greenhouse emission laws, solar comes out the winner. The whopping two million that are being employed are also seen to have working conditions far better than the coal miners.

Utility’s Side of the Story

The problem when it comes to the utility industry’s sustenance is twofold. The first is to address the price hike which is inevitable when the demand drops, not to mention the possible compensation for individuals who are using solar to reduce the stress on the electrical grids.

The second is how utility power hubs will re-align their structure to accommodate for this shift, and think of ways to meet the clean energy drive halfway. Unfortunately, there is no way to tackle the second without fixing the war that is being fought over the first.

The majority of traditional electricity power plants that cater to individual households and residential areas in the US are investor owned. These have a much greater role to play when it comes to vetoing the solar power takeover. Investor-owned power plants function in four simple steps. First, they get an estimate of the power demand of a given area and consequently calculate the monetary estimate required to fulfill the quota. This money is then looked at from the separate perspectives of the consumer and the investor. The rate per unit of electricity is calculated, looking at not only the demand of the consumer but at the incentive for investors to look their way by offering them a favorable return rate.

This system is foolproof, until the point that they are faced with a competitor – solar power. Solar energy users continue to use the grid that has been set up, as well as the utilities other services. This is where the true problem lies – even the basal costs of the utility sector are now being borne by those that are opting for traditional sources. Net metering is allowing solar power users to practically zero out their bills if they meet their own monthly requirement for electricity, a law that utility companies are fighting in states such as Texas and California, focusing on its lack of sustainability.

The Solar Point of View

While the arguments utility companies pose do have their credibility theoretically, in the real world it is rather clear that the incentive is still driven by their fear of revenue drops. When the investment for electrical systems shifts from the hands of shareholders to individual households, the concept of rates in terms of return to the investor is moot.

Customers who once had no option but to rely on Investor-Owned Utility companies now have the option of taking their domestic electrical needs into their own hands. Naturally, this lack of dependency translates into a very direct drop in utility companies yearly profits.

When a utility company complaints about the potential rate increase for the traditional energy source users, and fixates their argument on the fact that solar users do not pay for servicing and maintenance, a new argument is thrown into the mix. Is the demand that the utility companies are projecting really accurate anymore?

Solar lobbies state that the rate of maintenance, expansion and employee increase that utility companies are projecting is unrealistic. The fact is, widespread use of green energy resources will only reduce the load on the electrical grid, hence reducing the need for regular fixing. Utility grids are not taking this into account, instead of using an inflated demand rate to rope in a greater number of investors, and possibly hiking rates of monthly unit usage in order to meet their return rate.

The other statement of fact that solar advocates are backing is the fact that a utility-based electrical grid system never produces solely based on demand, hence pointing to the fact that the rate of electrical units is not actual anyhow. Experts say that if rooftop solar panels were distributed and installed, then just the reduce in demand would handle issues related to loading increase and be a much better management of resources for all involved.

Meeting Halfway in the ensuing Solar Vs Utility Comapnies battle

All said and done, though the Solar versus Utility debate has its subjective points of view, not to mention numerous pros and cons on either side, the reality remains the same. The need for green energy is a necessity for sustenance on a global scale, and yet the twenty-first century is straddled between the traditional resources and those that are now deemed clean.

A time of transition in all ways possible, certain existential questions cannot be ignored. How are the economically backward supposed to sustain if traditional power grids cease to function stably? Alternatively, if solar resources are negated and shut down then will the global economy, fossil fuel depletion and environment be really able to survive?

Though the deliberation is on, individual states are beginning to look for solutions that will tackle both sides, sustainably. Vermont, California and even New York are beginning to approach the utility sector as a large power bank of service, instead of just a source of electricity. This may alter the relationship between solar grids and utility grids, allowing them to cross paths without having to lose either form of resource.

States like Arizona are proof that the present model of a utility power structure is not functional anymore, and they are bound to see a decline in revenue and balanced functionality if they continue to look at solar distribution as the villain. There is a theory that the only way to force the utility companies and government’s hand to address the reality of the issue is to block out subsidies, asking the question of how sustainable and affordable power can be distributed in such a situation.

 




Most homeowners are quite concerned about maintaining their household appliances in good working condition. Any homeowner worth his salt will admit that it is no easy task. Hence it calls for some expertise in the form of appliance maintenance plans. What confuses homeowners is the fact that there are so many appliance maintenance plans out there and they end up wondering which ones to sign up for!

Here’s an article that’ll help you decide what plans you need to buy to ensure smooth running of your household appliances, while going easy on the pocket too.

HVAC Maintenance Plan

Plumber at Work

There are quite a few things you need to consider before you decide whether or not you need an appliance maintenance plan.

  1. Age of your appliances: If your appliances are 4+ yrs old, you may need a maintenance plan.
  2. Availability of a trusted contractor: If you don’t have a contractor you can rely upon, it is highly recommended that you purchase a home protection plan.
  3. Sufficient funds for frequent repairs and replacements: Repairs and replacements are expensive to get done. Makes more sense to buy protections plans, right?
  4. Time and skill for DIY repairs: Unless you are a contractor yourself, it is advised that you seek professional help in case an appliance crashes.

In short, folks who have old appliances, lack DIY repair skills and sufficient money and do not have a trusted contractor should purchase some form of protection for their household appliances.

What plan do I purchase?

Let’s make this easier for you. An HVAC maintenance plan covers only heating, ventilation and cooling units. A basic home warranty plan covers all the major systems and appliances in the home which includes HVAC units and other appliances too. In simple terms, the coverage is often more for home warranty contracts.

Let’s take a look at some of the common advantages

  1. Budget protection
  2. Service from qualified and skilled professionals
  3. Increases value of property at the time of sale
  4. Peace of mind.

Now let’s take a look at the advantages separately

Advantage of HVAC maintenance plans:

  • Often includes annual/ half-yearly maintenance routines.
  • Discount on labor and parts
  • May help lower electricity bills

Advantages of Home Warranty plans:

  • Wider coverage. Protects more than just HVAC units. Coverage can be extended as per homeowner’s wish
  • Covers damage that occurs due to regular wear and tear and sometimes even due to lack of maintenance. This does not apply to HVAC maintenance plans.
  • Affordable and transferrable
  • Increases the value of property at the time of sale

Who needs an HVAC maintenance plan?

  • Homeowners who have no time for repairing and maintaining their HVAC units themselves
  • People who don’t have the budget to carry out regular maintenance routines
  • People whose other appliances and systems are reasonably new and well-maintained
  • Folks who require budget protection

The U.S Dept. of Energy advises having your HVAC systems checked at least twice a year. This could be expensive for some.

Who needs a Home Warranty?

Homeowners whose homes are aged should definitely think about purchasing a home warranty plan. It covers more than just your HVAC units. Ideally, following are the types of homeowners who need a home service contract:

  • Homeowners whose homes and the components in it are 4+ yrs old
  • People who lack time and skill for DIY repairs
  • People who lack sufficient funds for costly repairs and replacement services
  • Folks who are first time homeowners

Still undecided?

Although most home warranty plans include coverage for HVAC units, the services are not as extensive as provided by an HVAC plan built specifically with heating and cooling needs in mind. If you feel that you are okay with basic coverage, then it would make more sense to go for a home warranty as your other appliances get protection too. Another option (safer one) is to buy a home warranty plan that covers on general household appliances and electrical systems and then to top it up with an HVAC plan. It may cost a little more than just a single plan, but it will be useful in the long run.

Yet another vital thing to do is to get your HVAC appliances get checked by a professional at least once a year. Regular maintenance checks are often helpful in diagnosing problems at an early state. Hence, no matter what the age or the make is, annual maintenance checks are a must for every HVAC appliance/system.

You can also read about Home Maintenance Tips on our website. We host several articles that explain the maintenance regimes for various household appliances and systems.

Remember, no matter how much thought you give into deciding a plan, if you don’t take the same effort for picking a reputable company, it may disappoint you. Always, we repeat, always select a trusted warranty provider and do sufficient research before you sign the contract. You can visit websites like ours, HomeWarrantyReviews.com, to see reviews and ratings about various warranty providers. Our website provide readers with reviews from genuine customers who are more than willing to share their experiences with others.




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.




Season's greetings!

X’mas greetings!




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!




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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Home warranties, or home service contracts as they’re more correctly called in Washington and elsewhere in the nation, covers the costs of some repairs that are needed around a house each year.  These repairs are often small things, but even small costs add up.  And then there’s the time taken away from work and family life to deal with the arrangements for the repairs.  So the point of a home service contract is to help save time and money when things around the house stop working properly.  But there’s a catch to the whole thing.  That catch is the quality and availability of professional contractors to do the work required.  

Most established home warranty companies have huge networks of home repair contractors, ones they regularly check for customer satisfaction and overall quality of work.  So customers of big home service contract companies can typically count on there being an abundance of good repair contractors in their areas.  But this does vary when you consider small towns, states with highly rural populations, or crowded metro areas with more customers per square mile than in suburban or rural areas.  With all this under consideration, it pays for home warranty buyers to understand which companies are the top ones in their local areas.  In short, it pays to understand the market for qualified contractors before buying a home warranty.

How to know which is the best home warranty company in Wahington?

Top Home Warranty Companies In The State Of Washington!

Today we will cover the state of Washington.  What’s the home warranty market like for people living in the state of Washington?  That’s today’s topic in our top companies series!

Residents of the state of Washington live close to the heart of the U.S. home warranty industry.  The western part of the country is home to some of the largest and oldest home warranty companies.  And the homeowners out west are typically more knowledgeable about using home warranties too.  Between the savvy consumers and the abundance of choices, there is a thriving market for these service contracts for homeowners.

Among the most popular companies in Washington are ones you’ll find in our top ten companies list.  But there are also companies such as Fidelity National Home Warranty which fall outside of HomeWarrantyReviews.com’s top ten companies, by our website’s users’ ratings.  According to Google, one of the most searched companies in the home warranty space among search engine users in Washington is Fidelity National Home Warranty.  And though search volume is not an indication of sales volume it’s still worth noting that we don’t necessarily capture all the data needed to say for sure which companies are selling the most home warranties in individual states.  So as you read on, please keep in mind that these top companies are a reflection of what you’ll find in our website’s users’ reviews and company ratings.

American Home Shield

According to HomeWarrantyReviews.com’s statistics, ratings and reviews accumulated for many years now, homeowners in the state of Washington overwhelmingly prefer American Home Shield.  We reached out to the company for comment after discovering this to be the case.

Mike Clear, VP of Operations at AHS weighed in on what he believes is behind American Home Shield’s success in Washington.

“Homeowners in Washington expect and deserve outstanding service and value. At American Home Shield, our employees and network of local service contractors proudly provide both, each and every day. When things break down, we solve problems, plain and simple. This means being there when you need us most; making sure you have convenient access to technicians who have the expertise to diagnose and repair covered items; and protecting your budget against unexpected repair costs. We founded the home warranty industry 45 years ago, and no one pays more in servicing claims or protects more customers than American Home Shield.”
AHS is by far the largest company in the industry today.  So in some ways it makes sense to see them on nearly every top companies list we publish here on HomeWarrantyReviews.com.  But there’s something to keep in mind when you consider that the company that’s the biggest also has the most customers.  And that something is customer satisfaction.  Though no company keeps every customer happy all the time, AHS has done an extraordinarily good job pleasing its customers who post reviews here on our website.  So whether you’re in Washington or elsewhere in the U.S., American Home Shield is one you should probably include in your list when comparing home warranty companies.

2-10 Home Buyers Warranty

Based in Colorado, 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty has been serving American homeowners for almost four decades.  Like American Home Shield, 2-10 is one of the top companies in the industry in terms of longevity and number of customers.  In addition to providing home service contracts, 2-10 also sells home warranties in the true legal sense, meaning the contract covers defects in the builder’s work or materials.

As one of the original companies in the home warranty industry, 2-10 has a presence across the U.S. and an expansive network of professionals serving its customer’s repair needs.

Home Warranty of America

As part of the Direct Energy family of companies, Home Warranty of America brings its home service contract offering to the western U.S. via its network of regional sales representatives.  HWA assists real estate professionals and homeowners with many different scenarios in which coverage of home repairs are important.  This includes periods in which a house is listed for sale or has just been purchased, as well as longer periods of time in which an owner of a home would want to offset the costs of repairs due to an unexpected system or appliance breakdowns.

We reached out to them for a comment about their service to Washington residents, and Monica O’Neill, HWA Product Manager, had this to say.

Home Warranty of America has experienced tremendous growth in recent years and we are very grateful for our loyal customers. We truly enjoy providing reliable solutions and being a home warranty partner to real estate agents and homeowners across the great State of Washington.”

Customers of Home Warranty of America have the security of working with a home service contract provider backed by a big parent company, well known in the energy space.  And financial stability is one of two of the most important things to look for in a home warranty provider.

That wraps up our short list of top companies in the state of Washington.  Come back here soon for new articles about companies providing home service contracts in other parts of the country.

Readers in Washington, if you have a company you’d like to give a shout out to, please do so in the comments below!  If you represent a home warranty company doing good things in Washington, please feel free to mention your company in the comments below as well.