Home Warranties: the Good and the Bad

Years of negative reviews do not always mean the company is a bad company. They would not still be in business if a company denied every claim but customers are far more likely to file a complaint than to provide a compliment. This is true in all industries as well as home warranties. Home warranties are a service plan that protects homeowners from costly repairs and replacements of home appliances and home systems.

Just like with any statistical information it is important to look at the whole picture. Florida home warranty companies receive a higher complaint level than other states, well why is that? Florida has the third highest population in the country. So Florida is going to show up on a lot of lists for top number of data driven surveys.

When making a decision between home warranty providers it is important to be able to tell which providers are reputable and which ones are not. Home warranties yearly fees are usually pretty close in amount between providers, so looking for the lowest cost option really isn’t the way to go. You might pay $31 vs. $35 from one provider to the next for similar coverage. So what else can you do to decide which provider to choose? Look for signs of good and bad providers just like with any other service you purchase.

Signs of a Bad Home Warranty Provider

Not Established – If the provider is brand new and not local, consider opting for a more established company or one that is local if they are new.

Only positive reviews – No company is able to make every consumer happy. Expect to see some negative reviews. If all you see is positive reviews, it is possible these are fake positive reviews.

Web Presence – Does the company only have a webpage and nothing else? This is a sign that it might not be a legitimate business or a pop up that will disappear after some negative reviews or claims being filed.

Business Partners – If a real estate professional or someone else in the industry does not refer the company to you, they might not be the best option for your home warranty service provider.

Signs of a Good Home Warranty Provider

Established – make sure the service provider is established. If they are a relatively new business consider opting for a company that is local so if you have a problem you have more than just a phone number to reach them.

Mixed Reviews – While you would think having positive reviews is the best for a company, it actually can lead people to believe that these reviews are not legit reviews but that they are fake reviews in order to boost the appearance the legitimacy of a company. Having a few negative reviews merely proves the company is doing business, not that they are screwing all of their customers.

Web Presence – Does the company appear on multiple review sites? Are they partnered with realtors in the area? If they are this is a good sign that the company has a good relationship with the real estate community and is a sign that this is a good provider to choose.

Business Partners – If the home warranty service provider comes recommended by a trusted real estate agent or other real estate professional, it is likely they are a reputable business. These real estate professionals will not back up a company that could reflect poorly on their professional image. If they recommend them it is because they have worked with them and believe that they will take care of their customers.

Recap

Home warranties can be a lifesaver for homeowners and provide the peace of mind to know that you have coverage if repairs or replacements are needed. Florida having one of the highest populations in the states also means it will have more reviews by data driven research. The data does not always take into consideration the population of a given area. Florida will have more reviews for businesses and services just based on the fact they have a higher population. This should not deter you from doing business with Florida businesses, just be aware that with higher populations comes higher likelihood of having reviews with mixed satisfaction.

Keep in mind that just because a business is ‘new’ and doesn’t have a Better Business Bureau accreditation does not make it a bad business, but rather a new one and they might endure some growth pains, possibly at your expense. A more established business has more reliability but it also does not guarantee that you will receive top notch service either. Do your research whenever entering into a new service agreement.

The Florida Housing Market in 2017, early 2018 and predictions for 2019

Florida’s housing market is on metaphorical fire! Florida’s home construction industry is busy building new homes to support a robust economy and growing population. While it is also rebuilding homes from hurricane damage, Florida is still lacking in supply of homes for its new and current residents.

What is the Florida Real Estate Market Been Since 2008

No matter how you look at it, the 2008 housing market crash affected people around the country. Florida being no different. The value of homes dropped dramatically but has since bounced back. Coastal living is hot and other areas in Florida are recovering from Hurricane Harvey and Irma, but the focus is much different for housing developers. Florida real estate developers are going after the millennial market of prospective homebuyers. Building homes and condos that fit the desires of the millennial customer base.

The Top Florida Cities for Home Real Estate in 2018:

  1. Jacksonville is on the top of the list because of its growing job market and affordable housing.
  2. Fort Meyers is next on the list for the same reasons. It has a growing economy and home prices are still affordable for living near the water.
  3. Daytona Beach is known for its warm weather all year long giving new Florida transplant residents a good reason to move there, and the supply of homes for new residents is on par with those looking to leave its sunny skies.

The Rise of Real Estate Markets in Florida

Florida has been experiencing high job growth and with lots of interest from people wanting to move to Florida from other areas, it creates a higher demand for real estate in the state, most notably Jacksonville. More people are looking to move to Florida than those who plan to leave.

After Hurricane Harvey and Irma many homes needed to be torn down and rebuilt while others just needed repairs. Luckily for some, they had an insurance for their house. These Florida residents found themselves displaced and with the growing population makes the cost of living to rise. The rising cost of living in Florida however is on par with job growth and low unemployment rates. One without the other is disastrous, but having all the above is the result of a strong economy.

Markets to Experience a Lull in Early 2018

waterfront houses in miami city florida in summer day

Housing markets were expected to slow but not decrease during first quarter of 2018. One probable reason for a slowdown in the housing market is taxes. The new tax law that was recently passed through congress before anyone had a chance to read it, causing many people to take a pause on their major purchases and donations. It took time to read through the 500-page tax document and understand the new law and what kind of affects it would have on the economy. The new tax law affects homeowners ability to deduct the interest on their mortgages as well as other home related expenses on their federal income tax return, this makes owning a home slightly less desirable to some of the prospective home buyers. However, if you do buy a home, there are ways to increase its value. One common way is to add a home warranty that protects your important house system like plumbing and major appliances. Another common way is to renovate your kitchen, living room, bathroom or any other important space in your home.

To 2019 and Beyond

With the population of Florida still continuing to grow, most notably in coastal cities like Miami the housing market will still have a higher demand that supply. According to the Orlando Business Journal the Florida economy is on pace to have higher growth than that of the entire United States through 2019. The country’s expected growth is expected to be 2.3% and the Florida economy alone is expected to grow 2.9%. Florida is predicted to be above the national growth by .7% all the way until 2020. Unemployment in Florida is at 4.1% this is a fair market for employees more so than employers. The rate of unemployment is down fro 2017 4.4% to 4.1% in 2018. It is expected to decrease to 3.5% by 2020 and 3.1% by 2021. The lower the unemployment rate the higher wages employers will pay to keep their employees. This means that more people will be able to afford homes in the coming years.

Will raising the Federal Fund Rate in 2018 Slow the Florida Housing Market?

The concept behind the Fed raising the rates is that the economy is doing well and is more stable and the low levels of unemployment after the recession are behind us. With Americans back to work raising the Federal Fund Rate is to be expected. This coupled with employers paying higher wages to retain their employees with low unemployment rates should remain stable as prospective homebuyers have higher earnings to still opt into buying their next home. Florida’s job growth is top in the nation along the coast and with the rebuilding of homes from hurricanes the construction industry is building new homes for the population growth and rebuilding homes for those who lost their homes as well. The focus is on building. With over 800 people a day choosing to move to Florida the home real estate market is sure to stay busy for months to come.

Florida forecast isn’t just sunny days. Continued strong economics, job growth, population growth and a low unemployment rate are in store as well.