Tag Archives: Residential Real Estate

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!

Location, Location, Location!


I work with a lot of first time home buyers. They are probably some of my best clients. For the most part, they are willing to learn the tricks of the trade. They ask all the right questions and cover their boundaries. In a lot of ways, they are trusting and accept advice easily. However, whether you are a first time home buyer or purchasing your 3rd, 4th or 5th home one rule of real estate always stands firm.


Location, Location, Location!


Location is one of the first things I discuss with my first time home buyers. As an agent, it is always at the forefront of my mind when touring properties.

When determining a home, and more importantly its value, the location of the property will determine the long term value and stability of that property. This can be said for a large geographic region such as Orange County all the way down to the specific location in a particular neighborhood. Orange County has higher home values than San Antonio, Texas for a reason. The value is in the land, location and proximity to certain desires such as, the beach. The beach may be the obvious determining factor in driving home values in Orange County, but there are many other factors to consider that drive the cost of your home.


When buying a home in Orange County, consider these items:

-Proximity to freeways

-Ease of getting to the beach

-Lot size and location

-Proximity to shopping, restaurants and grocery stores


Cities such as Costa Mesa, Aliso Viejo and Irvine have all seen significant gains in home values over the last year. One of the common denominators with these cities is the relative ease to freeways or toll roads allowing for shorter commutes to beach cities and work. There is a high demand for spending less time in your car and more time in the sun. All of these cities offer great shopping and dining, as well. As you move further out to Foothill Ranch, Mission Viejo, Rancho Santa Margarita or San Juan Capistrano (all great cities in their own right) you will see slight drops in home values due to their geographic location. They are often associated with a little longer commute and fewer “Town Centers” where you can get all your shopping done. However, when picking a neighborhood regardless of city one thing stays consistent in determining price. Land! For example, think about a neighborhood in Aliso Viejo. The average home price for that neighborhood may be $600,000. If you have a corner lot in that neighborhood, your home may sell for $50,000-$75,000 more just because of the lot. If you can find a deal with a corner lot, snatch it up quickly. It will retain its value year after year. Many people don’t realize that the value of their home is in the land. If you currently own a home, take a look at your next tax statement. Say, your home is in the same neighborhood as the example above. You get your tax bill and your property was assessed for $600,000. Take a closer look at your bill. I would be willing to bet my own home that your tax bill reads “Land Value $425,000” and “Structure Value $175,000”.  The fact is, building a home doesn’t cost a great deal comparatively speaking. The value is in the land and location!

One Stop Shop

source:  http://realestate.about.com
source: http://realestate.about.com

Ever feel like you are driving 

all over town to complete 

your list of errands?

You are likely to feel that way especially if you have braved the process of investing in residential real estate. Families are often seen racing from one Open House to the next instead of spending well-deserved weekend hours in the Orange Country sun. Then, escrow begins and you are expected to organize conference calls and document signings, schedule appraisers, inspectors, and contractors. The list goes on and on and on and on…

In 2009, while looking for a home to purchase, my husband and I spent many afternoons traveling around the quaint residential communities of Aliso Viejo. It had been a day of searching, hoping and tracking down Open House signs. Perhaps the signs for this particular house were not easily seen OR we were in deep conversation about our dreams of home ownership. Regardless, we were brought back to reality in a foyer when an agent (followed by a concerned couple) walked down the stairs and questioned us,

“What are you doing?

This isn’t an Open House!

It’s a private showing.”

After leaving the property (and the frightened couple who were no longer interested in living in an area where random couples walk through your home), we realized the sign displayed in the front yard did indeed read, “For Sale” NOT “Open House”. That was the last time we walked into an unknown house with an open door before carefully checking the signage!  With all the hustle and bustle surrounding the many tasks of buying a home, we (like so many other families) were likely to make many mistakes.

Buying/selling a home can be a stressful process especially when you are making many stops along the way both during your search for a property and during escrow. The team members at Iseley & Walsh Real Estate Group understand and are devoted to making your experience simple, successful and enjoyable.

Our team consists of:

  • Brokers
  • Agents
  • Transaction Coordinators
  • Lenders

Iseley & Walsh Real Estate Group has the resources that set us apart from other agencies and are focused on being your one stop shop for residential real estate!

Taking a self-guided tour of a home that was not an Open House was truly a surprise to us. What surprises have you encountered while searching for a home?