Tag Archives: Insurance

Should You Purchase A Home Warranty Plan?

Photo Credit: Judy van der Velden https://flic.kr/p/bUqzYi
Photo Credit: Judy van der Velden https://flic.kr/p/bUqzYi

Generally when you buy a home, the seller will pay for you to have a home warranty plan in force for one year. After that first year, you then have to choose whether you want to continue paying the premiums to extend that plan.   This can be a confusing decision, but one with which we can help!   Below you’ll find information regarding the standard coverages provided by a home warranty plan, along with additional info to help you decide whether you should or should not renew your existing plan.


How Much Does a Home Warranty Plan Cost? Plans typically range from $250 to $450, depending on coverage specifics.


What is Generally Covered Under a Home Warranty Plan?

  • Air Conditioning
  • Ceiling Fans
  • Dishwashers
  • Doorbells
  • Ductwork
  • Electrical Systems
  • Furnace/Heating
  • Garbage Disposal
  • Inside Plumbing Stoppages
  • Range and Oven
  • Water Heater


What is Generally NOT Covered?

  • Compliance Upgrades (aka – bringing water heater up to code)
  • Haul-Away Costs
  • Outdoor Items (sprinklers, fences, etc.)
  • Permit Fees
  • Refrigerators, Washers/Dryers, Garage Door Openers, Faucet Repairs (not all plans cover these)
  • Spa or Pools (unless specific coverage requested)


Should You Renew Your Plan?Consider the following:

  • The general age of your items that would be covered by the plan (older items are more likely to fail)
  • Your experience maintaining a home (can you tackle the repairs on your own?)
  • Your resources for helping you fix problems (consider your friends & family…assess the tools you have)
  • Your financial capability to replace items should they fail (are you capable of buying a new dishwasher?)


If You Buy a Plan, What Type of Coverage Should You Get?Consider your specific needs. Make sure you pay close attention to whether the home warranty company will pay for repairs to make certain types of systems or appliances compliant with new regulations. We’ve seen water heaters go out with a home warranty plan that covers its replacement. But the plan didn’t cover the $500 in work that needed to be done in order to update the compliance of the system.


We hope this helps with your decision about your Home Warranty Plan options.   Feel free to contact us if you have questions about whether you should renew your Home Warranty Plan…we’re here to help!

Lower Payment vs. Lower Term

Photo Credit: www.PropertyMesh.org
Photo Credit: www.PropertyMesh.org

With interest rates still near all‐time low levels, an argument can certainly be made to consider a shorter mortgage term, such as a 15‐year loan versus a 30-year loan. But there are some important factors to consider.
The greatest benefit of choosing a shorter term is to know that the mortgage will be paid off in less time, saving thousands of dollars in interest payments over the life of the loan. A 15‐year term loan builds discipline, forcing you to make the 15‐year payment.


However, the shorter term comes with a steep monthly payment. A 15‐year loan payment can be several hundred dollars more per month than the 30‐year loan; and in these tough economic times, “cash is king.” That is, cash on hand is king.


Therefore, many people may be better served by having a smaller mortgage payment under a 30‐year fixed rate loan, and then saving or investing the extra money. The key is actually saving and investing the extra money. People who find themselves without a job or who have a pressing financial need would benefit from being able to access these saved funds.
The Tax Consequences

While paying less interest saves you money, it may not save you exactly what you thought since your corresponding tax write‐offs will decrease. Depending on your marginal tax bracket; this could make a substantial dent in the savings you thought were being achieved with the lower interest due. So you must consider income taxes for a relative comparison.


Middle Ground: Flexible Term Loans

You can also choose a point in between the 15-year and 30-year term loan. Refinances are possible to any whole term between 15 and 30 years. That means you can acquire a 17-year term loan or a 23-year term loan, if either of those terms best meet your payment and loan-payback needs.

Best Path for All
Since an individual’s or family’s mortgage payment is often their largest monthly payment, it’s important to get individual advice about your unique situation in order to make the best decision about your home loans. Your short- and long-term financial objectives must be considered.


We’re happy to help you with this decision…don’t take it lightly!

What are your thoughts on acquiring a home loan? Is it best to go with the lowest possible payment, or shortest affordable term? Let us know your thoughts!

Your Insurance Questions Answered

Photo Credit: http://www.aiche.org/resources/member-services/member-only-insurance-plans
Photo Credit: http://www.aiche.org/resources/member-services/member-only-insurance-plans

Insurance is one of those “love ‘em and hate ‘em” expenses in life. It is absolutely necessary to protect your financial future. Remember, the purpose of insurance is not to make you rich in the event of loss. It is to transfer the risk of major loss from you to the insurance company, in exchange for policy premiums.


So which types of insurance do you need? Which are a waste of money?



  • Medical Insurance – this is now mandated by our government. And for good reason. Health expenses are the number one cause of foreclosures and bankruptcies in our country. You don’t want to be thinking about financial consequences while you battle cancer. You must protect your health.
  • Home Insurance – your home is often your greatest asset; it must be covered against major loss. Liability insurance is a key ingredient with home insurance, be sure to cover your assets against accidents. Click here to learn more.
  • Auto Insurance – a certain level is required by law. You’ll also want to be sure you have liability coverage (consider “umbrella” coverage with your agent)
  • Life Insurance – how would your family fare financially if you died tonight? If you don’t know the answer to that question, life insurance is your answer. Click here to learn more.
  • Disability Insurance – your ability to earn an income is often your greatest asset. Disability insurance protects your income in the event your employer doesn’t have worker’s comp or a policy in place to cover you. Self-employed people need to pay special attention to this. This is often the most forgotten insurance.



  • Pet Insurance – recent progress with medicine makes it more likely a pet’s health can be restored with advanced procedures. Pet insurance can help you avoid having to make the very difficult decision of whether to pay for that $5,000 surgery. Click here for more info on different kinds of pet insurance, and what you should consider.
  • Identity Theft Insurance – most people waste money on credit monitoring, but have no plan for how they will recover their identity in the event it is stolen. It has been estimated that 600 hours is the average amount of time spent on recovering from an ID theft occurrence. Most people don’t have that time to waste. Click here for more info on credit monitoring vs. ID theft Insurance.
  • Long-Term Care – this is a tough one. It’s not for everyone and should be assessed on a case-by-case basis. It is expensive, but necessary to receive good care and protect assets. Talk to a trusted agent.



  • Mortgage Life Insurance – the only reason to have this is if your health prevents you from acquiring regular life insurance. Otherwise, you will badly overpay for this scheme.
  • Private Mortgage Insurance – there are many home loan options these days to help you avoid private mortgage insurance. Click here to learn more.
  • Insurance on Small Electronics – as mentioned in the opening paragraph of this article, insurance should be acquired to protect major loss. The loss of small electronics like headphones, iPods, etc. would not financially cripple you. This is where a reserve fund is handy. Keep a maintenance savings account to handle these small incidents. Don’t go broke insuring them!


This article was not intended to give you an all-inclusive tutorial on insurance, but rather to make you aware of the types you should consider and research further. We hope this helps!


What are your thoughts on insurance? What types of coverage do you have? Any that we didn’t include above?