Why You Should Avoid Home Warranty Choices – Consumer Reports #home #warranties,


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Why you should avoid home warranty choices

It’s possible that you’ve bought your share of home warranties—service contracts that promise to cover appliances and other items that break down in your home. You probably should not have. A recent complaint consumer officials in New Jersery filed against Choice Home Warranty in Edison, N.J. illustrates why.

The state’s complaint says that far too often, warranty claims are denied because the company says the problem was pre-existing. Or, the claim is denied because the consumer can’t prove that a broken item was properly maintained. We’ve seen consumers raise these issues in the past in connection with home warranties and other types of service contracts.

In this particular case, New Jersey officials say that Choice Home Warranty repeatedly made it difficult if not impossible for consumers to realize the benefits of their so-called warranties, the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs said in a statement announcing the complaint. which was filed in state superior court in Middlesex County.

The state said the company, which sold coverage in at least 25 states, denied claims even when technicians said covered products had been property maintained or that a problem wasn’t pre-existing or caused by a lack of maintenance. For some claims, the state said, the company demanded that customers provide years of maintenance records.

While the coverage required the company to replace products that couldn’t be repaired, the state said the company offered consumers cash buyouts for hundreds of dollars less than it would cost to replace the item. And in some cases, local technicians dispatched to handle claims refused to respond, saying the company failed to pay them for their previous service.

In a statement, Choice Home Warranty said that it denies the allegations and will vigorously defend itself against them. The company also said it has paid tens of millions of dollars in claims for repairs and replacements and that the consumers who complained represent are small fraction of its customers.

Choice Home Warranty has an F rating from the Better Business Bureau because of 957 complaints, the time it took the company to resolve the issues, and the New Jersey complaint.

What to do

We recommend avoiding service contracts, even those provided by companies that have no record of engaging in such shenanigans. The reason is that coverage for contracts that cover homes and cars, for example, can cost hundreds of dollars.

We also believe that it makes much more sense to buy reliable products and maintain them as the manufacturer recommends. Do that, and there’s a good chance you won’t need to make any significant repairs before the product becomes obsolete. Put the money you otherwise would use to buy a service contract into a savings account or product repair-and-replacement fund.

If a product breaks after the express warranty expires, there are many other ways you may be able to obtain a free or low-cost repair. Many credit card issuers automatically extend the manufacturer’s warranty for an extra year or so for most products you buy using their card. Many companies also have goodwill programs and service campaigns that provide free or low-cost repairs or product replacement for items that fail in an unreasonably short time.

And under the so-called implied warranty of merchantability. which automatically accompanies many purchases under state laws, retailers and/or manufacturers may be legally required to address a product defect even if the express warranty has expired. Finally, manufacturers generally must initiate recalls and provide free repairs for safety-related defects.

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There are a lot of companies offering foundation repair in the Los Angeles area. How do you know which one is best? We believe experience should be the deciding factor. Julian Construction was formed in 1994, and our focus has always been on building foundations, doing repair, replacement, earthquake retrofitting and house leveling. We have inspected over 16,500 foundations .

If you also talk to another foundation contractor, ask how long they have been doing foundation repair. Not how long they have been in business. But how long they have been doing foundation work. There are some contractors in the LA area who have been doing foundation work for a year or less. Would you trust the safety of your home to them?

When the safety of your home and family are at stake, we think you ll want to go with Julian, the company that has been working under homes for nearly 20 years.

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The Real Cost of Leasing vs #buying #solar #panels, #leasing, #solar #electric


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The Real Cost of Leasing vs. Buying Solar Panels

Buying solar panels requires an investment and more decision-making than leasing, but over the long term the benefits of owning your system are hard to beat.

Best Ways to Pay for Your Panels

Cash
Buying your solar electric system outright is best. It usually costs $15,000 to $20,000 after tax credits and can reduce your electricity bill by 70 to 100 percent, depending on the size and orientation of your roof and local regulations. Most systems pay for themselves in five to seven years.

Home Equity Loan
If you need to finance your solar panel purchase, the most cost-effective way to do it is to use a home equity loan or a home equity line of credit. Because your house serves as collateral, these options have low interest rates (currently about 3 to 5 percent). The interest you pay is tax deductible. Equity loans range from 5 to 20 years and usually have fixed interest rates. Equity lines last 10 years and have variable rates (so the interest may increase).

Solar Loan
There are unsecured and secured solar loans. With an unsecured loan, your house doesn’t act as collateral and the interest isn’t tax deductible. Many solar installers work with lenders that offer solar loans, but you’ll probably find better rates by directly checking with banks, and credit unions. Watch out for high origination fees. Fannie Mae also offers consumers financing for solar system installations through its HomeStyle Energy Mortgage Program when they buy a new house or refinance.

Why Leasing Isn’t a Bright Idea

The steep up-front costs for a residential solar system can make a leasing company’s sales pitch sound pretty appealing: Pay little or nothing and save hundreds of dollars per year on average. (The premise is that you save because the combination of your lease payment and your electric bill is less than what you currently pay for power.) Leasing can also look seductively simple compared with buying: There’s no need to shop separately for an installer and financing; you just sign on the dotted line. So it’s not surprising that 72 percent of the people who installed residential solar systems in 2014 did so through leasing or another type of third-party arrangement. But the reality is not quite so sunny.

Your Savings Will Be Modest
People who lease their solar systems save far less than those who buy them outright or with a loan (they also miss out on federal tax benefits and any local incentives). Many leases contain an escalator clause that can further reduce savings by increasing payments 3 percent per year. So if you’re paying 12 cents per kilowatt-hour in year one, with a 3 percent escalator, you’ll be paying 18.2 cents in year 15. That means that if the cost of energy doesn’t rise as quickly as the contracted lease payments increase, your savings could evaporate.

You Lose Control of Your Roof
Leasing companies want to maximize their profit, so there’s a chance you could wind up with more panels than you want and that they could be installed in highly visible places—such as facing the street—without any regard to appearance. To avoid that, check the final system design and placement before signing the lease. It could be different from the initial mock-up.

Leases Can Scare Off Home Buyers
If you put your house on the market before the lease is up (usually 20 years), you will either have to buy out the lease or the person purchasing your home will have to assume it—which some are reluctant to do.

That’s what happened to Andrew and Nora Barber, who had to buy out the lease on the solar system on their Clovis, Calif. home after two prospective buyers were frightened away by it. “I offered the solar company $16,000, which was the total of all the payments for the remainder of the contract,” Andrew says. “But $21,000 was the buyout price in the contract, and the company wouldn’t budge.”

Some solar leasing companies may offer to relocate their systems from one house to another. That could cost $500 for an initial audit and another $500 to transfer the panels, if the leasing company determines it can be done. You would also need approval from your utility and local landmarks commission or the condo or homeowner’s association, if applicable. Plus the new house must be able to accommodate the old system.

And remember: At the end of the lease, the solar company could remove the system—and your savings along with it.

Service Plans Don’t Serve You
Though leasing companies tout their service plans, maintenance is a red herring. “Generally, there’s really no scenario where the maintenance plan is going to kick in,” says Joshua Pearce, an engineering professor and solar expert at the Michigan Tech Open Sustainability Technology Lab. Equipment problems aren’t covered by the maintenance plan, they’re covered by the warranty. And if a storm destroys your panels, the damage may be covered by your homeowners insurance.

That’s why—whether you buy or lease—it’s essential that you inform your insurer. (Roof-mounted solar is generally added as part of a standard homeowners policy at no additional cost; ground-mounted solar may require an insurance rider.)


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Effective Communication 101

Lesson 1: Recognizing and Understanding Communication Styles

This lesson will help recognize four of the major communication styles. Each style serves a different purpose, and you will be able to identify those and understand which is the most effective.

  • Lesson 2: Verbal Communication

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  • Lesson 3: Nonverbal Communication

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  • Lesson 4: Communicating in Writing

    This lesson will address the different components of written communication. It will enable individuals to use writing to maximize their ability to communicate for personal and business reasons.

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    This lesson teaches the most important skills required to use conversation as an effective form of communication. Mastering conversational skills makes you more interesting, and more likely to truly experience two-sided communication.

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    In this lesson, you will learn more about group dynamics and how to use them to your advantage. Groups have very specific ways of interacting, and anticipating this can be invaluable in making sure the group actually is effective.

  • Lesson 7: Communications Technology

    In this lesson, you will learn more about the technology currently available to make communication faster and easier. You will also learn what kinds of repercussions this access to instant communication has on business and personal relationships.

  • Lesson 8: Barriers to Communication

    The goal of this lesson is to learn to recognize where there might be breakdowns in communication. By knowing what problems you are facing, you are more prepared to avoid them altogether.

  • Lesson 9: Cultural Aspects of Communication

    In this lesson, you will learn about the field of cross-cultural communication. You will discover what types of barriers to expect, and what you can do to overcome them.

  • Lesson 10: Disagreements and Conflicts

    In this lesson, you will learn how to handle disagreements before and after they occur.

  • Lesson 11: Negotiation

    In this lesson, you will learn the basics of negotiation. It will also pull together some of the skills you have learned throughout this course and show you how to utilize them to reach a specific goal.

  • Lesson 12: Constructive Criticism

    In this lesson, you will learn how to offer and receive constructive criticism. You will also learn the dynamics of the critical relationship.

  • Additional Course Information

    • Document Your Lifelong Learning Achievements
    • Earn an Official Certificate Documenting Course Hours and CEUs
    • Verify Your Certificate with a Unique Serial Number Online
    • View and Share Your Certificate Online or Download/Print as PDF
    • Display Your Certificate on Your Resume and Promote Your Achievements Using Social Media

    Course Title: Effective Communication 101

    Course Number: 7550121

    Learning Outcomes

    By successfully completing this course, students will be able to:

    • Recognize and describe various communication styles.
    • Define verbal communication.
    • Define nonverbal communication.
    • Demonstrate proper techniques when communicating in writing.
    • Demonstrate techniques for improving conversational skills.
    • Demonstrate techniques for improving group communication.
    • Describe techniques for improving communications with technology.
    • Define barriers to communication.
    • Compare and contrast cultural aspects of communication.
    • Describe communication strategies to resolve disagreements and conflicts.
    • Describe negotiation strategies.
    • Describe how to receive and deliver constructive criticism, and
    • Demonstrate mastery of lesson content at levels of 70% or higher.

    Related Courses

    Follow Us Online

    Copyright 1999-2017 Universal Class All rights reserved.


    How Big a Mortgage Can You Afford? #can #you #assume #a #mortgage,


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    How Big a Mortgage Can I Afford?

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    This formula does not account for the tax savings conferred by home ownership. You will want to figure that savings into your calculations before you shop for a home. A tax advisor can help.


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    MY13 EPA Fuel Economy Estimate 129 city, 102 Highway. Based on EPA formula of 33.7 kW/hour equal to one gallon of gasoline energy, EPA rated the LEAF equivalent to 129 MPG measured as gasoline fuel efficiency in city driving, and 102 MPG in highway driving. Actual mileage may vary with driving conditions – use for comparison only. MY13 EPA range of 75 miles.

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    ‘*Price represents the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP). Price excludes environmental excise fees (where applicable), freight, PDE, air and tire levies, license, registration, insurance, duties, and applicable taxes. Dealer may charge additional administration fees, which may vary by dealer. Dealership may sell for less. Equipment, specifications and price are subject to change without notice. Provincial EV incentives up to $14,000 (before-tax) are available in certain provinces. Where applicable, provincial EV incentives are applied to the before-tax value of the Nissan LEAF. Please consult your provincial government or local Nissan dealer for details and pricing specific to your region.

    †Price represents the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) plus freight and PDI, as well as all other applicable fees, levies and duties. Price excludes license, registration, insurance and applicable taxes. Dealer may charge additional administration fees, which may vary by dealer. Dealership may sell for less. Equipment, specifications and price are subject to change without notice.

    Dealer contribution is included in the discounts where applicable.

    Payment results are estimates and are used for illustrative purposes only. Many variables will affect your monthly payment. This estimator is not an advertisement, solicitation, credit application or offer for any specific terms of sale price or credit and is not an offer for direct sale, financing or leasing. You should see your local Nissan Dealer for actual terms and conditions. See your Nissan Dealer to help determine your actual monthly payments including title, taxes, license and other fees, based on the exact selling price, lease or financing terms, credit history, trade-in appraisal, down payment and special offers.

    References to “financing” on this website refer to indirect lending originated by your participating Nissan Dealer through Nissan Canada Financial Services.

    Nissan has taken care to ensure that the digital colour swatches presented here are the closest possible representation of actual vehicle colours. Swatches may vary slightly due to viewing light or screen quality. Please see the actual vehicle and colours at your local Nissan dealer.

    Inventory shown and vehicle built on this website may not be available. Contact Dealer for details regarding Dealer’s current inventory available for purchase or lease.


    Cleancredit #credit, #clean, #repair, #fix, #equifax, #experian, #transunion, #quick, #fast, #score, #raise,


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    Frustrated and looking for answers on “How to Fix Your Credit?

    Have you tried to buy a home / Car only to be turned away or told to wait a year and try again?

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    It’s unfortunate but major companies are aware that the average consumer cannot interpret these laws and they are more than happy to use this to their advantage.

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    Can “accurate” information be removed?

    Most consumers ( and professionals ) view credit daily without the correct information to interpret what is or isn’t truly accurate; Because of this the wrong call for accuracy is made every day. Once the accounts are viewed by someone that knows the ins – outs of the credit reporting system; we find that many of those harmful account are not accurate at all. Once these errors removed you really get to see you actual credit worthiness!

    Every day someone tells us an account is accurate – every day we prove why it’s not. Having the knowledge to determine the difference between accurate and inaccurate combined with the essentials for maximum scoring are the keys to making huge score gains. They also make sure big companies can t bully you into paying too much interest.

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