Someone calls and says, “Is your refrigerator running?”
The person on the other end then says, “Yes. Why?”
And then the caller says something like, “You better catch it before it gets too far away!!”
The joke worked because, for the most part, everyone has a fridge, and it is probably working.
And that is when you should have a home warranty in place… when your fridge is working, not once it is broken.
Do you have a list of worries?
There’s a lot of things you probably notice, but ignore around your house. Until it is too late, and becomes a much bigger problem.
It’s not broken…but maybe you notice that your fridge is making a different sound lately.
Your garage door isn’t working quite right. It goes half way down and gets stuck.
The bathroom faucet is dripping.
You notice a little leak in your bedroom ceiling.
Little worries like these are super common for homeowners.
Maybe you have an even longer list of little worries than those…
What’s the real worry?
But worries like those aren’t the real worry.
The real worry is the cost of getting them fixed.
For a lot of people, it is hard enough just paying the mortgage and other household bills. It’s not like there’s tons of money sitting around to fix the little worries.
So you probably ignore it for as long as possible. Then the little problem becomes bigger and bigger. And the little problems become more numerous.
You figure you will deal with it when and if it becomes too big of an issue…which is usually once something is broken, or not working at all. You deal with it once you have to spend the money.
Get a home warranty before it is too late…
If all of that sounds too familiar to you, a home warranty can solve a lot of your worries.
But you need to get one before your appliance, your furnace, your air conditioning, or whatever else, is actually broken. They won’t cover your problem if it was a pre-existing condition…
Part of the problem might be that you don’t want to spend the money to buy a home warranty. They can cost hundreds of dollars. Maybe even upwards of a thousand or so, depending on the plan and coverages.
But in comparison to how much it could cost you if your furnace or water heater stopped working, the cost is really not so bad.
And, it isn’t like you can go and just buy a $500 home warranty once the furnace goes kapoot, call them up, and presto, have them send someone over to install a new one.
You can try… but they are gonna deny.
Expect some aggravation
As with anything… not all home warranty companies or plans are reputable or great.
Just do a little research online, and you will see tons of complaints about home warranty companies. Enough to scare you away from even buying one.
With that said, sometimes it is a matter of having the right understanding, expectations, or following the right protocol.
For instance, a home warranty company won’t necessarily get you a new furnace…if the existing one can be fixed. A lot of people complain that they wanted something replaced, but the warranty company merely fixed the problem. They have that right. If it can be fixed, they fix it. If not, they replace it. Sometimes, people misunderstand what to expect, or simply want more than they should expect.
Or, some people will feel that they should be able to call their own contractor to have a problem fixed or replaced, and expect that the warranty company will pay the bill. Most don’t allow that. The warranty company needs to be called first, and they will usually give you a choice of a few contractors that they have relationships with. Not necessarily contractors you know, or want to hire.
A lot of times, people complain just because they presumed that something would be covered, when it really isn’t. You need to know what your policy will cover. (A pool, for instance.) There are usually a few options within each home warranty company. Obviously, the more and better the coverage… the more the cost.
And it isn’t uncommon to have to fight a little bit (or a lot a bit) to get something covered. They certainly have their loopholes and language in the policies that allow for them to deny coverage if they want to. Or even just do things as cheaply as possible.
So, do expect that just buying a home warranty is not a direct ticket to getting everything you want, at least without question or a little fight.
It’s aggravating, but the old adage about the squeaky wheel gets the oil is probably a good way to approach dealing with your home warranty company. Expect to squeak.
A good, simple trick…
Hey, you may find a great home warranty company who addresses you and your problems thoroughly, quickly, and with little hassle. Without needing to squeak, even. If so, that’s great.
But probably not… judging by so much of what you read online. It is hard to find one that has an absolutely favorable reputation.
So a good trick you might want to consider is this…
…call your real estate agent.
Ask your real estate agent for their advice.
Does a home warranty make sense for you, your needs, and your specific concerns?
If so, what home warranty companies do they recommend?
Here is the real “trick” to this trick…
Real estate agents often have affiliations with home warranty companies. They are are in the business day after day. Home warranty companies do not want to be on their bad side.
So, if you are having an issue with a home warranty company, your real estate agent may just be helpful in getting the warranty company to get things done. Especially if it is one that they have an affiliation with, or recommend.
All it might take is a phone call, or an e-mail from your real estate agent, and whatever issue you were having might just get resolved more quickly than by you spending hours on the phone, sending e-mails, or writing a scathing complaint online.
Too often, some of the in-between-the-lines benefits of a real estate agent get overlooked.
This is one of those benefits. Don’t overlook it.
If you have any little worry around your house…or a long list of them…call your real estate agent. Ask their advice. Most agents will give it freely, and for free. And gladly.
Listen, we all have ambitious fitness goals, but let’s put those coats in your brand new walk-in closet and get you on that exercise equipment! (Or at least back to telling yourself you’ll work out next week, but in a bigger house…)
2. You need a schedule for bathroom use
If you’re constantly fearing a knock on the door, or someone barging in when you’re in there, an extra bathroom (or two) could be a huge improvement in your life.
3. Someone has that seat during holidays
Large family gatherings are great. What’s not so fun is being relegated to the corner of the table, or even worse, the “kids’ table” when you’re rapidly approaching your 30th birthday. Listen, it’s not your fault, maybe you just need that extra two feet of dining room to accommodate everyone—even that one uncle with the weird conspiracy theories.
4. There’s a bathroom within four feet of your kitchen
Who in the world ever thought that was a good idea? Those aren’t the smells you want to smell when mom is making her signature dish. No thank you.
5. You have annual attic/basement cleanout days
Fun for the whole family! Whether it’s part of your spring cleaning regime, or a necessity to protect the structural integrity of the house, you got yourself a storage problem. Now one could address the underlying problems that cause you to hold onto that broken pool cleaner, or you could just get a bigger attic.
6. You keep stepping on your pets
It’s one of the worst experiences a pet owner can endure. You’re minding your own business walking to the living room and you accidentally step on a paw or tail. You feel the pit in your stomach, hoping you didn’t hurt them. They’re fine, but maybe toss a treat or two (and a bigger floorplan) towards the little guy to make up for it.
Whether it’s a hot sellers’ market or not, you’re probably not the only one to find your dream home when it hits the market. If you like it and see the value, someone else most likely does too.
No matter how fast you are, or how great your offer is, there’s always a chance another buyer (or more) is going to make an offer. Great for the seller and buyer they choose. Not so great for you if you’re not that buyer…
So, just in case, how are you supposed to deal with the disappointment and jealousy of knowing that someone else is occupying your dream home, enjoying its quirks and delights, while you sit and stew?
Here are some tips that’ll help you on your way to recovery:
1. Remember that the new owners won’t decorate it the way you want to
They’ll probably wallpaper the living room and totally ruin it…dummies.
2. Appreciate the fact that it gives you more time to save money for the home you do buy
Every cloud has a silver lining, and the thousands of dollars you’ll be able to save in the meantime can go a long way.
3. Vent to a trusted friend who you know will bad-mouth the house
There’s always the one friend who’ll know exactly what to do: convince you that it was overpriced, ugly, and not the right house for you.
4. Make a voodoo doll
It probably won’t work, but it might…make you feel better.
5. Steal their look
Decorate your house to make it look like the dream home.
6. Photoshop a bunch of blemishes onto a picture of the home
Add a dumpster to the front lawn, a nuclear power plant in the backyard, and a giant tarantula on the roof.
7. Look at a photo of the house for hours every single day until you get tired of seeing it
There’s no faster way to get over something than to overdo it. That goes for your favorite movie, favorite meal, and even your favorite house.
8. Befriend the buyer who beat you out
Things are never as good in reality as they are on the outside looking in. Get to know the new owners and you’ll realize their lives aren’t all that great, even with their new home.
9. Be grateful for having a home that puts a roof over your head
At the end of the day, gratitude can always make us feel better, so forget about the one you didn’t get, and learn to love the one you have.
And if you’re ready to find your dream home, don’t hesitate to get in touch. A great agent can help you win the bid, but also find a great alternative in case you don’t.
Applying to college can be a nerve wracking experience, no matter how hard you worked or how good your grades are. There are lots of things to consider, and lots of confusing paperwork that takes time to wade through — and that’s before you’re faced with the prospect of sitting on pins and needles for months while waiting to hear whether or not you got accepted.
But once you’ve found a school to go to, you’ll never have to worry about that kind of experience again, right?
Well…not exactly. Because shopping for real estate can feel a lot like applying to college.
1. You have to do your research
Whether it’s searching for the perfect college or home, there’s a lot more to getting yourself into one than just finding one you like. So learn about the process before even starting the process, even if it’s just the big things.
2. Your personal situation will determine your eligibility
Just like your grades and extracurricular activities, your financial situation and credit will determine what you qualify for.
3. Picking the best option is difficult
There are many more cities, neighborhoods, and houses than there are colleges, so picking the one that’s perfect for you will take time and consideration.
4. The waiting game can be nerve wracking
After submitting an offer, it might feel like you’re back in high school waiting to hear back from your dream school—be as patient as you can.
5. The won’t always get into your first choice
Yeah, it can sting, but at least with houses there’s a good chance another (maybe even better) one will pop on the market in a few weeks!
6. There’s probably going to be a lot of competition
You’re not the only one who wants that perfect house, just like you weren’t the only one who wanted to go to that private school in the woods. But don’t worry, just be confident and make a solid offer.
7. You should ask for advice from a professional
Trying to navigate the complexities of homebuying without an agent, is like going through the college admissions process without the help of guidance counselors. Sure, it can be done, but it’s better and easier with the help of a pro!
8 Lies We Tell Ourselves When Shopping for Real Estate
The process of buying a home can be exciting, complicated, and a bit scary. A home is usually a person’s biggest investment, and the process of choosing the right one—then packing up and moving—can be overwhelming and exhilarating at the same time.
There are many thoughts that go through a person’s head when they’re shopping for real estate. Some of the things we think about are price, location, and the effect that moving will have on our lives, our careers, and our children’s well-being.
But along with these considerations come other less-than-honest thoughts, known as lies…lies we tell ourselves in order to feel better. There is, of course, nothing wrong with this since nearly everybody does it, so if you’ve been lying to yourself during your real estate transaction, don’t feel bad!
Here are eight lies we like to tell ourselves when we’re shopping for real estate:
1. I’m going to stick to my price range
I know it’s 20k more than I planned to spend, but it’s perfect.
2. It doesn’t bother me that they didn’t accept the offer
Good, I didn’t want it anyway. I don’t care about that gorgeous entryway, or that breathtaking view. Doesn’t bother me at all…
3. I’m fine with whatever my partner decides
Sure Matt, let’s buy a 3,000 square foot man-cave. I support you. Great idea!
4. I’m not going to compare these houses to the multi-million dollar ones
I swear I haven’t been up until 2 in the morning looking at million dollar mansions.
5. Having to do a bunch of renovations doesn’t sound so bad
Sure, let me just whip out my tool belt and get to work.
6. The house will still be available in a few days
There’s no way someone will make an offer before I get a chance to… aaaaand it’s gone.
7. I’m going to be patient about this whole process
I’m not in a rush… I don’t have to move… Definitely gonna take my time looking… Y’know what, I don’t want to be looking at houses forever, let’s just put an offer in on this house.
8. I don’t need an agent to help me
I can figure everything out on my own. There’s no need for an experienced professional who knows how everything works to help me…