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Posted by Abigail Vivo 5/16/18

Should you buy a home warranty? How to judge for yourself.

If you’ve bought a home recently, you might have purchased or received a home warranty. However, consumers frequently expect more from these plans than they deliver.

Home warranties aren’t insurance policies. Instead, they are service contracts. Like a service contract that covers repairs to your computer, a home warranty is a company’s agreement to pay for fixing — and, if necessary, replacing — specified home components.

By comparison, a home insurance policy covers losses if your home and its contents are damaged or lost to theft, fire or other causes.

A basic home warranty costs about $350 to $500 a year or more. A warranty typically covers kitchen appliances, plumbing, water heater, heating and electrical system components, sump pump, whirlpool tub, and ceiling and exhaust fans, Angie’s List says.

“Enhanced” plans, purchased for another $100 to $300, provide added coverage for such things as a washer and dryer, air conditioning system, refrigerator and garage door opener. Optional coverage can be added, including for pools and septic systems.

If someone gives you a home warranty, accept it — at least while it’s free. But understand that, even with someone else paying the premiums, you’ll likely pay a service fee — typically $50 or $75 — each time you need a repair, according to Angie’s List.

Before buying a home warranty, learn what coverage you may already have. For example, if you’re buying a newly built home, know that:

 

Also, when you buy new furnishings and appliances, use a credit card that extends the product’s warranty. That can add as much as an extra year of protection.

Sellers may offer a year of coverage as an incentive to home shoppers. Real estate agents sometimes give home warranties to clients as a thank you gift for purchasing a home. Some buyers of older homes find that a warranty gives them confidence.

Other homeowners decide they’re better off setting aside savings to cover home repairs and replacements.

One way to think about your needs: Compare the age of each covered item with its average life span. To do so, use the chart at the National Association of Certified Home Inspectors website.

With expensive components near or past their life expectancy, a home warranty might be a good idea. Components that have pre-existing problems, however, typically are excluded from protection.

Be sure to vet any company before purchasing a home warranty. Good resources include:

Buyers who purchase a previously owned home inherit used appliances and home systems with wear and tear. A home warranty can help cover the cost if things break down.

For example, if fire destroys your boiler, it might cost more than $10,000 to replace. A home warranty might cover at least a portion of the cost.

However, for many homeowners, there is a wide gap between what the customer expects and what the plans deliver. Before buying a home warranty, read the contract and understand exactly what it does and does not cover. For example, some contracts will not provide coverage if:

If you haven’t read the agreement carefully, be prepared for surprises. Don’t assume:

So, find out what’s covered and what the warranty provides. There may be exclusions and limitations. Perhaps the refrigerator is covered, but the ice maker is excluded. Claims might be rejected because of pre-existing problems or insufficient maintenance.

Learn who will perform the repair work. Also, find out if you can cancel the policy, and whether there is a period — such as 30 days — when you can get a “free look” at the program.

 Article Source: https://www.moneytalksnews.com/are-home-warranties-worth-the-money/ 


      Posted by Abigail Vivo 3/8/18

        Spring Cleaning: A Complete Checklist

The flowers are blooming, the birds are serenading, and our house still feels like it's stuck with winter blues. Spring cleaning is a tradition that allows us to freshen up our homes and get a head start on the hectic seasons of spring and summer.

Spring Cleaning Checklists By Room

These tutorials help with any room in your home. Each tutorial gives a list of steps, tools, and supplies needed, and tips to help you get the job done with special attention given to seasonal chores for this springy time of year.

Use these checklists as a springboard to deep clean the areas of your home that really need extra attention. Skip items that have recently been cleaned and focus on the parts of your home that have been neglected all winter long.

Clearing Clutter and Organizing During Spring Cleaning

One of the biggest parts of spring cleaning is getting rid of clutter that you don't need. Use these resources to clear out your stuff. Plan a garage sale. Learn how to box up items you don't need. Find out how to donate items that are taking up space. Take advantage of the natural urge that comes each spring to get rid of items that are weighing you down and begin fresh with a more streamlined lifestyle. While we may have a tendency to hoard and hold on to items in the winter, we generally are more ready to let go of clutter when spring arrives.

Trust me. Cleaning will be a lot easier when the clutter is gone.

Getting the Family Involved in Spring Cleaning

If you need a little help in your cleaning endeavors, try to get your family involved. Even the most unwilling helper can make a big difference in the workload.

I know what you are thinking. It might actually seem easier to just do everything by yourself rather than try to get your family to help. Don't worry, we've got advice to deal with even those most reluctant helpers. This is actually a great time of year to get the entire family to work together. Try throwing on some music or establishing a family reward for when the work is done.

Extra Spring Cleaning Chores

There are some special chores that need to be done seasonally. We ignore them for most of the fall and winter, but now it is time to bite the bullet and get these things clean. Even though these chores only need to be done once or twice a year, they will help your home run look better and run smoothly. Outdoor chores like cleaning grills, patios, and windows can be a little intimidating, but there are some simple tricks to keep the jobs manageable.

Products to Use During Spring Cleaning

The cleaning aisles of our stores are stocked full of supplies to help you clean. But sometimes the variety can be overwhelming.

Although you may be tempted to clean out the local store of all of their cleaning supplies, the real champions of spring cleaning are more basic supplies like a good all purpose cleaner and microfiber cloths.

Maintaining the Spring Cleaning

If you want some ideas to help you maintain the new cleanliness around your home these 15-minute cleanups can make that fresh feeling stay around for a long time. I love printing these out for my own kids. When things are broken down into 1-2 minute chores, all of us find tasks more simple to complete. It's amazing what 15 minutes can actually accomplish in a room.

Article Source: https://www.thespruce.com/spring-cleaning-a-complete-checklist-1900106