Dear Angie: What are the differences between a home warranty on a new home and one for an existing home? – Kenneth E., Fort Mohave, Arizona
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If you need home warranty advice, review these tips to understand how they work. Start with a reputable company and understand the contract.
A home warranty is a good marketing tool for a home seller. Before you offer one to a potential homebuyer, make sure you do your research on the company.
Home warranties don't always come with the kind of robust protection and security homeowners expect. Here's a quick breakdown on the real costs, and real benefits, of purchasing a warranty for your home.
First, call your insurance company and tell them you do not want any proceeds paid to the contractor under your policy as you are not going with them. This way they can not collect money on your behalf. Insurance will typically have you sign a form for release of funds anyway but this is a good extra step to make sure your signature isn't forged. Second, call the contractor and tell them you will not be needing their services afterall. Did your husband pay a deposit? If so it may be non-refundable. Then follow up with a certified letter.
An email as well doesn't hurt but some states don't yet recognize email as a form of communication for legally binding documentation. This may have changed and I'm sure more states do recognize them as I haven't followed that topic elsewhere as much as I used to. The contractor's office should be local. A sure fire way to ensure they got the message is to deliver the letter to the office of the contractor and have someone at the office sign a duplicate stating it has been recieved and read. There's no arguing whether they received it or not by doing that.
Hopefully you've learned your lesson about high pressure sales techniques and storm chasers looking for a quick buck. Some people find out a much harder way. While these guys may be legitimate you should always do your homework on a contractor before signing the contract. Unless you have water running out of the house and the work has to be done on the spot it's not so much of an emergency that it can't wait until the next day.
Todd's Home Services
San Antonio, TX
Home Warranty reviews in Richmond
The big thing was my 2 zone HVACs. Over the course of the five years I had a contract with AHS each year I had ay least one repair on my Janitrol ACs. Many times it was low on freon due to leaks or corroded lines. But 2011 I had to get a repair on one of the systems and had no AC downstairs for several weeks of repair attemtps. In the end they had to replace both the indoor and outdoor coils. I am told it woudl have been close to the same price to install an new system. In 2012 my second AC unit failed and replacement was on the table. But AHS does not pay for many of the required itmes included in a repair. In the end I would have had to pay over $2000 for the repair on top of the deductible of $60. (The deductible goes up almost always annualy) I chose to install new and drop AHS. AHS did pay about $1500 towards the new unit but only after hasseling with their customer call center and then resorting to writing the CEO of AHS and the parent company.
SO having said that, if you use a home warrentte company expect to be hasseled when repairs are needed and expect onyl bandaid repairs. RARELY will they replace an item.
Surprisingly - in addition to my questions about the home warranty, the rep also provided information and feedback on some minor home projects I had in progress and offered great advice and provided info for a general contractor in my area in which I contacted the same day. The general contractor was available the same day of my inspection and the HTH rep remained in the area to double back and supervise the job. The project was completed the same day and turned out great! In addition to the home warranty services the HTH rep informed me that they have a network of contractors who services homes on their behalf as it relates to claims. I was so happy with the work that I'm scheduling another home project in the coming months.
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