Posted on Friday, 19th July 2013 by Dennis DampPrint This Post
We purchased a 9 year old home last year and the seller thankfully included a home warranty. Since we moved in we used the home warranty services many times saving us thousands of dollars in repairs. Recently, I renewed the contract and had to call them out shortly thereafter.
When we were purchasing our new home the inspector found a few things that the seller’s repaired however he missed so much more. My wife and I wonder why we paid for the home inspection after encountering so many problems after moving in. Unfortunately, even what appears to be a well maintained home often has underlying problems that you only uncover after moving in.
During the first year the home warranty service replaced the garbage disposal, main furnace blower motor, whirlpool tub motor and pump, counter top gas range, kitchen sink faucet, and initiated two furnace repair calls. The total repair cost would have exceeded $2800.
Shortly after renewing the service the family room fan, mounted 22 foot high, had to be replaced. Again, the warranty service paid for the new fan and replacement. The repair service estimated that it would have cost me at least $600 to do the work had we not had the warranty service. They used a HUGE ladder, a Little Giant, and it took three men to set it up and maneuver it in place. When they were setting it up it started to fall and they stopped it just inches from crashing through our large palladium window.
This was my first experience with American Home Shield (AHS) services and I must say I was impressed. They offer home sellers a special $460 price for their Core Coverage Plan to get their foot in the door. We paid $60 for each service call the first year and the second year it increased to their standard $75 fee and it cost us $611 for their FlexPlan Combo or $51 per month for single family homes under 5,000 sq. ft. I already made up most of that cost with this first repair.
The Core Coverage includes heating, AC, ductwork, plumbing including whirlpool tubs, plumbing stoppages, water heaters, electrical, built-in microwaves and dishwashers, garbage disposals, ranges, ovens and cook tops and more. The FlexPlan Combo also includes their Service Plus and Coverage Plus packages and includes everything from ceiling fans, garage door openers, telephone, doorbells, smoke detectors, improper installations, refrigerant recovery, and mismatched systems! You can add coverage for your clothes washer, dryer and refrigerator for an additional charge.
As with all services there are drawbacks. You can’t choose who they send however if a preferred service company is on their list they will consider your request. You must request a preferred company when you initially report the problem. When our gas cook top was malfunctioning they sent Sears to repair it. Two of the four burners weren’t working. They ordered parts three times and we initially received broken parts. Finally AHS authorized a replacement and we went out and purchased a new unit from Sears. I had to initiate a replacement request with them and it took over a month from when we first reported the problem to being reimbursed for a new cook top.
I typically check service company ratings on Angies List and the majority had ratings similar to most others in the area. You can visit the AHS site at www.ahs.com to explore what they have to offer. There are other warranty services companies however you need to compare their programs to what AHS has to offer. Many of the service techs that they sent thought highly of their services and found AHS reasonable and responsive.
AHS covers much of the home however you still can incur major expenses to repair broken water, sewer and gas lines. In our area Dominion Products and Services, Inc. offers inexpensive line replacement and restoration coverage and you simply pay the additional charges through your electric utility. We pay $20 a month for full coverage and this also includes the gas line inside the house. Dominion also offers water heater replacement and furnace and AC repair at reasonable costs. You can enter your zip code on their site at https://dominionenergy.com/en/home-protection to determine if they offer services in your area or call your local utility company to see what is available. Initially I ordered Dominion’s water heater replacement coverage before renewing my AHS coverage. After reading the brochure they sent their program only covers water heaters up to 60 gallons, we have a 75 gallon water heater.
With both programs we are covered for most repairs and we don’t have to worry about the cost or who to call when a problem arises. I also maintain a list of preferred service companies in our area for things not covered such as roofers, window repair, general maintenance, and lawn services.
So far we are ahead of the game considering that many service companies are now charging over a $100 an hour plus parts. Check out these services in your area for peace of mind and to control your costs.
- Request a Retirement Benefits Summary & Analysis from a local adviser. Includes projected annuity payments, income verses expenses, FEGLI, and TSP projections.
Visit our other informative sites
- Federal Government Jobs & Career Center
- FREE Federal Employee’s Retirement Planning Guide
- Federal Employee’s Career Development & IDP Center
- Post Office Jobs & Career Center
- Job Search – All Sectors
- Environmental Health & Safety Jobs Center
- Nuclear Jobs & Careers – High Paying Jobs
- Stolen Car Plates & Recovery Guide
- Take Charge of Your Federal Career
- The Book of U.S. Government Jobs
Distribute these FREE tools to others that are planning their retirement
- 2013 Excel Leave Chart (target 2013 retirement dates and determine exact leave balances for each date)
- How to be Emotionally and Physically Prepared When You Retire
- How to be Financially Prepared When You Retire
- Master Retiree Contact List (Important contact numbers and information)
- Survivor’s Guide
- Estate Planning Guide (An 11 part series that will help readers prepare for retirement, understand basic estate planning techniques, and compile their personal “Survivor’s Guide” binder.)
The information provided may not cover all aspect of unique or special circumstances, federal regulations, and financial information is subject to change. To ensure the accuracy of this information, contact your benefits coordinator and ask them to review your official personnel file and circumstances concerning this issue. Retirees can contact the OPM retirement center. Our article is not intended nor should it be considered investment advice and our articles and replies are time sensitive. Over time, various dynamic economic factors relied upon as a basis for this article may change. The advice and strategies contained herein may not be suitable for your situation and this service is not affiliated with OPM or any federal entity. You should consult with a financial or human resource professional where appropriate. Neither the publisher or author shall be liable for any loss or any other commercial damages, including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential, or other damages.
Last 5 posts by Dennis Damp
- Finally, Good News for Retirees and Savers - March 13th, 2017
- The End Game - Protecting Your Loved Ones - February 12th, 2017
- Retirement Application & Benefit Forms - Don't Make This Mistake! - January 27th, 2017
- 1099 R Statements For 2016 Are Available Now! - January 18th, 2017
- Retirement Moves - Take These Steps Now! - January 13th, 2017
- 2017 Leave calendar and Pay Raise, Then and Now, & Jobs Update - December 16th, 2016
- Retiree Reflections Autumn 2016 - November 30th, 2016
- FEHB Open Season & 2017 Leave Chart Updates – Retiree Jobs - November 17th, 2016
- Ready – Set – Go! FEHB Open Season - November 12th, 2016
- Annuity Calculator - What You Will Have When - October 29th, 2016
- 2017 COLA, Federal Employee's Leave Chart, & Pay Raise - October 23rd, 2016
- FEHB Open Season Update & Best Date to Retire in 2017 - October 14th, 2016
Print This Post