• 3 commonly-asked questions about home warranty insurance plans

    Owning a home comes with several unexpected expenditures, which are not always covered by your homeowners’ insurance. In such cases, it proves handy to opt for a home warranty insurance plan, which is designed to cover what your homeowners’ insurance doesn’t. A home warranty insurance plan is considered to be the foil to your home insurance when the certain perils that wreaked havoc on your home—water damage, earthquake, floods, or mold—are not covered by your home warranty insurance. 

    Here are certain things you should know about home warranty insurance plans that will help you arrive at an informed decision.

    How is a home warranty insurance plan different from homeowners’ insurance?

    For starters, homeowners’ insurance covers damages that are caused by certain defined perils, such as straight-line winds, fire, burglary, hail, and other property claims. It even covers certain types of water damage. However, homeowners’ insurance doesn’t cover the expenses that are associated with appliances or home system failures unless these failures are caused by the said peril.

    Home warranty insurance, on the other hand, covers things that aren’t covered by homeowners’ insurance. These are essentially service contracts that pay for the cost of repairs or replacement of appliances, built-in appliances such as heating and air conditioning, and plumbing, when they cease to function. It typically costs around $250-$500 annually but can run closer to $1,000 depending on what plan you choose. 

    How does home warranty insurance plan work?

    A home warranty insurance plan works in a similar fashion as the product warranty for any appliance you might have purchased. When you opt for a home warranty insurance plan, the company pays for the repairs and replacement of the specific components of your home which are included in the policy, such as your HVAC system, furnace or boiler. You will have to pay an annual fee which is used for dispatching a contractor to your house for repairs whenever a problem arises. 

    What factors are covered by a home warranty insurance plan?

    It is essential for you to know that home warranty companies tend to offer several tiers of coverage, and these are some of the common things that are covered:

    • Basic coverage includes the cost of plumbing systems, dishwashers, oven ranges, garbage disposal, exhaust or ceiling fans, sump pump and water heaters, built-in microwaves or tubs, and heating and electrical systems. 
    • If you opt for enhanced coverage, it would include central air, clothing washers and dryers, refrigerators, and garage door openers. These items would be covered if you pay its additional charges.
    • You can even choose from the optional warranty coverage, such as well pumps, pools and spas, standalone freezers, septic systems, and central vacuums. 

    Before you decide on a home warranty insurance plan, ensure that you shop around for it.

  • Top 3 home warranty insurance providers

    Homeowner’s coverage is a prudent solution to protect your home from unforeseen damages; however, it’s crucial to note that this doesn’t include the repair of home systems and appliances. This inconvenience might result in you spending hundreds of dollars even on a small repair. A viable solution to this quandary is a home warranty insurance as it covers repairs and replacements for home systems and a variety of home appliances.

    Interested? We thought so! To help you get started, we’ve chosen this year’s best providers offering top home warranty insurance plans and quotes. Have a look.

    American Home Shield
    Looking for customized service? Then you should check out home warranty insurance plans and quotes by America Home Shield. Their “Build Your Own Plan” option allows you to personalize coverage by giving you an option of selecting 21 systems and appliances. And you can add optional coverage for septic system plumbing, septic sewage ejector pump, well pump, and pool and in-ground spa equipment. But if you want to stick to the standard packages, America Home Shield offers a Systems Plan, an Appliances Plan, as well as a Combo Plan.

    AFC Home Club
    If you’re looking for a home warranty provider that lets you choose your own repair technician and offers a lifetime workmanship guarantee, then you must check out home warranty insurance plans and quotes by AFC Club. All their plans are furnished with ID protection, credit monitoring, and an emergency alert network. They also have an in-house service team including highly trained sales representatives and claims executives. The annual plan cost ranges between $350 and $600.

    First American Home Warranty
    If low fees are a priority, then First American Home Warranty is a fitting choice. Currently, they only offer two plans: Basic and Premier. The latter makes more sense if you wish to protect repair costs pertaining to heating, electrical, and plumbing systems. While they don’t cover pre-existing problems, they will replace items that can’t be repaired irrespective of their age, make, and model. Furthermore, the company renders 24/7 support and has a massive network of independent contractors and qualified technicians that are vetted properly. You can protect your home for as little as $28 per month.

    To know more about home warranty insurance plans and quotes, please visit the official sites of the abovementioned providers

  • Tips to get the best home warranty insurance quotes online

    Before we begin, you must understand that home warranty insurance and homeowner’s insurance aren’t the same. A warranty is merely a service contract between you and the insurer to cover home repairs and replacements for basic appliances and systems. Home warranty companies only cover damages to your appliances and systems, but you will still be liable to damages that have been caused on account of misconduct. Homeowners insurance provides complete cover for damages, replacements, and even personal liability on account of any damages. Here are a few tips to help you get the best home warranty ins plans quotes online.

    Check accreditation
    One of the foremost factors to consider includes the Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating and accreditation. The BBB certification implies that the company adheres to the business standards set forth by the governing authority. So, ensure you compare home warranty ins plans quotes among those companies that have an A+ accreditation and have been providing insurance services for quite some time.

    Check State regulations for warranties
    There is no one uniform regulatory authority as home warranty companies in all 50 states are governed by their respective state laws. For example, not all states require the insurance provider to register their services with the Commissioner of Insurance. Note that State regulations impact the quality of warranty provided by the companies.

    Be aware of coverage rules
    Home warranty provides a limited cover for select home appliances and systems. So, you must double check to confirm that the plan you choose covers mostly everything. There is absolutely no point in paying a premium for vendors who cannot provide substantial cover for damages and replacements. Also verify and understand the claims process after you choose a plan. Quicker the claims and reimbursement disbursal, better will be the insurance company.

    Calculate cost of home warranty
    It all ultimately comes down to how much you are willing to spend. You will be able to set a budget only after narrowing down the number of appliances and systems that you want to include in the warranty cover. Several factors constitute the cost of the insurance plan apart from the premium and deductibles.

    Here are some of the popular home warranty insurance plans and quotes you can get online

    • American Residential Warranty
      Best overall service provider for home warranty
    • AFC Home Club
      Brings you the flexible plans
    • American Home Shield
      Gives you better coverage options
    • Amazon Home Warranty
      Top BBB-accredited service provider
  • 4 handy tips for first-time buyers

    Buying a house is one of the most expensive deals of your life, and the first time is always a memorable experience. Moreover, the process of home buying can get stressful, but keeping a few tips handy can be great for first-time home buyers.

    Read on to know four useful tips before buying your first home.

    Plan out a budget and stick to it

    First-time home buyers require a lot of research and planning. Budget, the most essential part of the entire process, makes planning even more important. Know what you can afford and how you want to go about with the financing.

    Plan and calculate the entire payment, check out online calculators, research about various loans for first-time home buyers, and ensure that you do not miss out on any payment essentials.

    Consult an experienced realtor

    A realtor can either make or break your deal of buying your first home. An experienced realtor will have contacts of real estate attorneys and loan officers and can also guide you throughout the process of buying the property.

    As per the statistics of the National Association of Realtors, nearly 50% buyers found their realtor from a personal referral. So, it is advisable to start asking for references from your family and friends, as recommendations always help.

    Moreover, you can always check out real estate websites such as Zillow, Streeteasy, and Trulia, to name a few.

    Compare the apartments in the area

    Comparison will always help you get a better look at the choices you have. There are numerous real estate websites that can help you research various homes, depending on custom searches such as the location, budget, number of rooms, and property type, among others. By comparing the apartments, you can also read reviews of the location or area to get a better understanding of the neighborhood. Moreover, the comparing will help you sort the budget as well, giving you various alternatives.

    List out the non-negotiables

    Before you delve going ahead and buying your first home, it is advisable to list down the non-negotiables. One should know and figure out which things would enhance their well-being, and which won’t. So, making a list of things that you would want in your apartment would also help your realtor know about your specific preferences. From square footage to location and amenities, pen down the must-haves in your future home.

    One of the best ways of gauging your options is to visit the apartments or houses in your preferred area and shortlist the ones that suit your preferences. Knowing what your preferences are can also help you settle on a budget.

    You should also reevaluate your list of essentials and keep adding or subtracting what you would want and what you wouldn’t in your first home.

  • Tips to avoid scams while selling a timeshare

    Selling your timeshare can be a smart move if it no longer serves its purpose as a vacation home. However, selling a timeshare can be a problematic process because it is not considered a real estate investment as it depreciates in value. Are you wondering how to sell your timeshare then? If you haven’t received any worthwhile responses through advertisements, you can hire services from a timeshare resale company. There’s one catch thoughthere are numerous unscrupulous businesses which can scam unsuspecting timeshare owners. To avoid falling prey to such fraudulent activities, look for the following warning signs mentioned below.

    • Cold calls – Untrustworthy timeshare resale firms will often use the cold call tactics via phone or mail. Therefore, if you haven’t initiated the contact, avoid communicating with such unsolicited services.
    • Guaranteed sale – As a timeshare is an unconventional real estate option, it is not popular among the masses which implies that its sale can’t be guaranteed. Therefore, if any company makes tall claims of guaranteed sales, don’t hire their services.
    • Contact details – In the recent years, fraudsters have adopted a different tactic of setting up fake mail addresses and websites to lure timeshare owners. To verify their contact, try visiting their office or run a thorough check of them online. Lack of relevant information or using Yahoo or Gmail instead of company mail are some red flags that you should look for.
    • Written contract – It is extremely important that whatever transactions or agreement you have decided upon are provided in writing. If the resale company seems reluctant to draft a proper paperwork, then you should definitely pass their offers.
    • Information protection – You might be expected to provide some sensitive details and make a few payments via credit or wire transfer. Therefore, ensure that you ask how the company plans to secure your data and if they provide a copy of all the transactions exchanged.
    • Fees – If the timeshare resale company states that they have a buyer waiting but the process will only move forward if a closing or transfer fee is paid first, then immediately bail out of such offer. Usually, such fees are required to be paid after the timeshare deal is finalized, i.e., on paper.

    Once you have figured how you can sell your timeshare with the help of a resale company, ensure that they help you price it right. Moreover, the transfer of timeshare ownership also involves multiple legal requirements. Therefore, pay close attention to the contract drafted, deed to the timeshare, real estate taxes, and documentation mandated according to the concerned state.

  • Different ways to sell your timeshare

    Owning a vacation residence can be a fascinating desire for several homebuyers, and this can drive them into purchasing a timeshare. Investing in this holiday accommodation has its own sets of pros and cons. Some can be entirely happy with the bargain they received, whereas some can find this arrangement extremely cumbersome. If you belong to the latter half, then it’s time that you consider letting go of this real estate deal. How? By selling it!

    How to sell your timeshare?
    If you wish to sell your timeshare, there are a few options at your disposal. You don’t have to get anxious about handling the resale process all alone. Usually, your manager, owner, or resort developer will assist you with advertising your timeshare resale offer on newsletters, bulletin boards, or websites. If these mediums don’t fare well, then you can try the following alternatives:

    • Seeking assistance from a website that specifically deals with timeshare resale advertisements such as Timeshare Users Group or RedWeek.
    • Running an ad in the real estate or travel section of the local newspaper.
    • Putting on an ad for the timeshare on an e-commerce site such as Craigslist or eBay.
    • Selling your timeshare via a licensed timeshare resale business. However, if you are opting for this method, ensure that the resale company is legitimate. You can verify their credibility by narrowing down reliable references, scrutinizing their ratings via reputed business agencies, and reading any consumer complaints registered against their services.

    Moreover, if you are unsure about selling your timeshare, you can resort to timeshare exchange systems. In this method, the resort allows two owners to trade their timeshare units if they’re dissatisfied with their current accommodation.

    Pricing a timeshare
    Putting the right price tag on a timeshare can be somewhat complex. This is because unlike conventional real estate properties, timeshares aren’t investments as they depreciate in value. Therefore, while determining its worth, consider factors such as its location, how well maintained it is (both, indoors and outdoors), and for how long have you owned the property. Likewise, be on par with the current real estate prices in the location where the timeshare is situated.

    Make a note of the cons associated with timeshare
    Timeshare owners have to be cautious if they are working with a resale company as many organizations are involved in fraudulent activities which can leave a huge dent in your finances. Look for warning signs such as unsolicited contacts via mail or phones, insistence on sharing your credit card information, or requesting money transfers without meeting in person or proper paperwork.

  • 4 major mistakes every first-time home buyer must avoid making

    Buying a new house requires you to put in a lot of effort; right from visiting different relators to applying for a loan requires, the entire process has to transpire smoothly. The process of buying a house is difficult, and if you are a first-time home buyer, the entire process becomes more overwhelming. Without the right guidance, there are high chances that a first-time home buyer will end up making certain mistakes that can cost them dearly. In a bid to keep tabs on online listings and ensuring that your dream home doesn’t slip away, people often end up making certain mistakes, and these can be easily avoided if you are appraised about the same.

    Here are some common mistakes that first-time home buyers usually make.

    • Not prioritizing the credit report: It is common knowledge that our credit report can make or break a deal. So, for a first-time home buyer, the credit report is that ace which can help them secure the desired loan. However, many first-time home buyers often overlook the importance of keeping tabs on their credit report; a slight error on the part of the credit company can cost you your new home. To keep track of your credit report and devise ways to improve your credit, you can check your credit report for free from each of the three credit report agencies: Transunion, Equifax, and Experian.
    • Not waiting for the pre-approval letter: Everybody is out looking for their dream houses, and there are high chances that another individual might be vying for the house you have short-listed for yourself, and since sellers don’t wait around for anyone, they grab the best deal they get. Another error that first-time home buyers often commit is setting out to buy the house without getting a pre-approval letter from the lender. This proves quite detrimental if the other party has all the documents, including the pre-approval letter, ready.
    • Buying a house that you cannot actually afford: One of the most prominent mistakes first-time home buyers usually make is buying a house that is beyond their purchasing power. No matter how big or attractive the house is, if you cannot afford it, you must not buy it. Irrespective of what you believe, taking a loan to pay the original loan doesn’t yield a desirable result. Instead of getting yourself into a dilemma, use a mortgage calculator to fathom how many monthly payments you can afford. Also, determine how much money can be saved since you will need to keep money aside for maintenance purposes.
    • Not hiring a real estate agent: People often are of the opinion that not hiring a real estate agent can help save money. However, if you go about looking for a new house for yourself, and especially if you are a first-time home buyer, this process can be extremely time-consuming, and there are high chances that you might not find what you are looking for.

    Ensure that, as a first-time home buyer, you wouldn’t make these mistakes.

  • 4 essential tips for first-time home buyers

    Buying a new house can be an enthralling and a nerve-wracking experience especially if you are a first-time home buyer. There are so many things you need to take care of while buying a new house; everything, right from applying for the loan to ensuring that you choose the right home for you and your family has to be taken care of. However, even though the process of buying a home can be challenging for first-time home buyers, there are certain tips that can ensure that you go about this process without facing many obstacles.

    • Know your financial strength: Before you browse through the online listings or start visiting realtors to buy your dream home, ensure that your financial health is at its peak. You wouldn’t want to risk losing your dream home because you didn’t plan your finances appropriately. It is imperative that, as a first-time home buyer, you audit your finances. You will have to check your savings account, and only if you have three to six months of living expenses saved is it advisable to contemplate buying a new home. Also, it is imperative that you keep a tab on your monthly spendings since it will give you a fair idea of how to manage your monthly mortgage. Getting your finances in order is one of the first things that every first-time home buyer must do.
    • Check for first-time home buyer’s benefits: Before you decide on applying for a loan and calculating your monthly payment, check for programs that offer benefits to first-time home buyers. Such programs can effectively reduce the burden on first-time home buyers who would otherwise have to make higher monthly payments.
    • Compare mortgage rates: It is common knowledge that the mortgage rate offered by one lender would vary from the mortgage loan offered by another lender. To ensure that you choose the right lender, it is imperative that you compare the mortgage rates offered by different lenders and choose the one that adheres to your needs and proves beneficial. For a first-time home buyer, comparing the mortgage rates can help them save a lot of money which can be used elsewhere.
    • Meet the lender: Instead of meeting the realtors, first-time home buyers should consider meeting a lender. The lender will help you assess your credit score and determine the amount of money you will qualify for on a loan. This proves beneficial in case you are trying to qualify for a loan, and looking for the right lender can help you get into the program you were aiming for.

    It is imperative that, as a first-time home buyer, you go through these tips to ensure that you make the right choice when it comes to money matters.