What You Need to Know About Home Warranties

celebrate-2953723_640You’re probably familiar with homeowners insurance, but fewer people understand the benefits of a home warranty. While insurance is required for most home loans, a home warranty is not. But even though it’s optional, a warranty can be helpful—especially for new homeowners.  

What Is a Home Warranty?

A home warranty is a service agreement that can help you cover household expenses that come up due to regular wear and tear. Home warranties typically last for one year and provide a set monetary payout that can be used toward repairs and required upgrades that arise after moving into a new home.

The Difference Between a Home Warranty and Homeowners Insurance

Unlike homeowners insurance, which usually covers losses due to structural damage or theft, a home warranty helps out with your home’s major systems and appliances. It’s a convenient stop-gap that can cover large expenses like new windows, updated plumbing, or replacing a major appliance like a refrigerator. In addition to covering different things, there are some other significant differences between home warranties and home insurance.


  • No deductible: There is no deductible to pay with a home warranty. Instead, the home warranty reimburses you for money paid out to replace or repair an appliance or system.
  • Limited payouts: While both warranties and insurance come with limits, a home warranty will only pay out the amount set in the terms of the warranty. If you have a $500 home warranty, then that is the maximum reimbursement you can get from the policy, regardless of how much you paid for the repair. For example, if your air conditioner had repairs that totaled $1,000, you could get half of that amount taken care of by your $500 home warranty.
  • Time limits: A home warranty is good for a specified amount of time, typically twelve months. After twelve months, the warranty will no longer be valid. Because this is a use-it-or-lose-it situation, make sure you take advantage of the warranty within the required time limit.
  • No monthly premiums: Unlike homeowners insurance that you pay for monthly, a home warranty is usually purchased outright. That means you (or the seller) will pay upfront for the home warranty, and there will be no additional costs over the term of the contract. Some companies may offer installment plans, so don’t despair if you’re worried about affording a warranty upfront.
  • Warranties can be transferred: The person who purchased the home warranty isn’t the only one who can benefit from it. In fact, it’s common for a seller to purchase a warranty as an extra incentive to buyers. The warranty is attached to the home, not the person, which makes it easy to transfer during a sale.


Important Things To Know About a Home Warranty

As with any insurance or supplemental coverage, you need to understand the limitations and requirements so you can take full advantage of reimbursement or other payouts. Because home warranties can be tricky, here are the most important things to know.


  • Coverage can be specific: Not all home warranties cover both major systems and appliances. Some warranties only cover one or the other. Depending on the type of coverage you want, make sure you choose the right policy.
  • Not everything is covered: In addition to being specific on a large scale, don’t forget to read the fine print to find any exclusions that may apply. An appliance warranty may not cover every appliance, and HVAC systems are commonly left out of major system coverage. Other things that could be excluded are sprinkler systems, garage doors, and pools and hot tubs.
  • You may need to use a preferred provider: Some home warranties come with a list of providers that you need to use in order to make a claim for reimbursement. As with medical coverage, going outside the preferred network could get your claim denied.

Home warranties are a great way to supplement common costs that come up during the first year in any new home. Whether you’re buying or selling—if you’re concerned about issues with appliances or systems—be sure to look at a home warranty as part of your plan.

Saving During the Holidays

canstockphoto52410164It’s that time of year again to start trimming your tree and your budget. Saving and spending wisely this holiday season you can avoid a total budget-buster. Trim your spending without sacrificing any holiday experiences with these quick tips.


Budgeting for the holidays is always a smart idea. Start by establishing a general spending cap or allocating a specific amount to each person on your list. Be careful not to forget the little things or set a budget that is too tight. These two items can quickly cause your holiday budget to sour. After setting your budget, it’s important to stick to it.

Track your spending

One of the most helpful ways to stick to your budget is to track your spending. You will have to establish an effective way to separate holiday expense from the day-to-day expenses. We recommend setting up separate accounts for each. Spreadsheets are also helpful trackers if you remain diligent in your tracking efforts.

Limit the extras

Stay on budget by temporarily laying off the extras. Whether it’s a tasty latte or new pair of shoes, we are all guilty of splurging a bit during the holidays. The occasional treat turning into constant spending can really put a dent in a budget. A daily latte habit sets you back more than $100. That money could have covered other gifts, holiday travelling expense or a nice charitable donation.

Try cheaper traditions

Although traditions are often what makes the holidays so special, they can eat through your budget if you’re not careful. Swap the more expensive travelling, attractions and extravagant gifts for closer to home alternatives. Less expensive options could be sledding, caroling, touring the neighborhood lights and our personal favorite: making and drinking homemade hot chocolate while decorating the tree.

Welcome potluck

Family dinners often make their way into everyone’s holiday activities. Instead of hosting everyone and paying for everything, try throwing a potluck. All of a sudden having everyone together will become more manageable and cheaper when you start doling out potluck assignments.

Employ self-control

Sure holiday sales provide opportunities to save money, but they also double as a trap. Not all sales are created equal. Often times, store owners put up “sale” signs to lure customers into their stores without providing much of a discount on merchandise. Always shop around, compare prices and know when to stop to ensure staying on budget this holiday season.

Start early

Saving during the holidays is a lot easier if most of your spending is done all year long. Right after the holidays get a head start on planning, saving and shopping for next year holiday season to maximize your finances and budget.

Corn Mazes and Events in Davis County

halloween-1782588_640The mountains being peppered with changing colors means Halloween is just around the corner. Soon the allure of all the fun, exciting and even spooky adventures will be too strong resist. Give in to temptation with these corn mazes and other seasonal activities in Davis County.

Black Island Farms

Utah’s largest corn maze offers plenty of family fun for everyone. Family owned and operated for more than 50 years, Black Island Farms invites you to visit them September 23 through October 31. Aside from their large corn maze, they provide an animal alley, bonfires, a cow train, grain shoot slide, bounce house, pumpkin patch and more. Plan a visit or field trip today to their nightmare acres, harvest hayride, corn maze or more.

Monster Mash and Dash

This Saturday (Oct. 14) bring the whole family out for the Monster Mash and Dash 5K. Located at Heritage Park in Kaysville from 5 to 7:30 p.m. The event features a Zombie Dash for children ages 8 and under, a 5k race that routes runners along the city cemetery, pumpkin painting, princess party, spooky storytelling, pie eating contest and more. Please visit the Kaysville City’s website for more information.

Halloween BOO-NANZA

Every year the Clearfield Aquatic and Fitness Center creates a truly haunting experience at their annual Halloween Boo-nanza. Join other heroes and villains on Oct. 21. Festivities start at 5:30 p.m. with the costume parade. Participants also can enjoy a haunted house, princess pumpkin patch, buccaneer balloon blast, train rides, spooky canoe rides and so much more.

7 Roadblocks that Side Track and even Derail Closing

canstockphoto14767089Purchasing a home can be both exciting and nerve-racking. Prospective homeowners face tremendous amounts of waiting as the home buying process ensues. Here is a list of everything that can go wrong during the closing of your new dream home.

Low Appraisals

Roughly 66 percent of buyers get financial assistance when purchasing a home. Mortgage lenders require appraisals of the property to determine the worth even if the buyer and seller have already agreed on a price. In the case of a low appraisal, the borrower can make up the difference, find financing elsewhere, pay for an additional appraisal or back out of the transaction completely.

Financing Challenges

Unfortunately, pre-approval doesn’t always ensure financing. Last minute problems may arise if the borrower loses a job, gets divorced, makes major financial purchases or experiences any other change in circumstances. Delays can occur as new financing is obtained.

Property Liens

Before closing, a title search will be conducted on the property. If there is any unpaid debt that lists the house as collateral, the sale can’t move forward until all liens are cleared up.

Needed Repairs

An inspection will be conducted to assess the integrity of the house. The inspectors will look for insect infestations, damaged roofs, leaky pipes and more that can lead to delays. If repairs are needed, both parties decide whether the seller will make repairs before closing or compensate the buyer for making the repairs at a later date.

Inspection Delays

Often, many buyers ask to do a walk-through of the home after the sellers have moved out. The closing may be delated as both parties decide how to handle any issues that may have occurred since the last showing. Issues include furniture or rugs concealing damage, movers putting holes in the wall and more. The initial purchase contract typically outlines how delays should be handled.

Changing Terms

In October 2015, three standard forms were replaced with the Loan Estimate form. Mortgage lenders must send one of these with the terms of the actual loan at least three business days prior to closing for the borrowers to review. If the terms need to be changed during this time, the three-day window resets and thus extends closing.

Unprepared Buyers

A buyer is expected to show up at closing with certain documents including copies of the homeowner’s insurance policy, proof of insurance payment, photo ID and certified funds for the closing costs. Failure to bring any of the above mentioned items will post pone the closing.

Harvest Moon Festival

Say farewell to summer with one of Ogden’s largest events of the year, the 16th Annual Harvest Moon Festival begins September 23. The festival will take place on Historic 25th Street from noon to 8 p.m. With a variety of activities, art, games and performances there is sure to be something for everyone to enjoy.autumn-flowers-1789975_640

One of Ogden’s largest events of the year, Harvest Moon celebrates the end-of-summer with family-friendly activities, live music, a beer garden, arm wrestling and much more. Committed to locally owned and operated business, Historic 25th Street on-site restaurants will be serving food and beverages throughout the day.

Entrance into the event is free and children’s activity wrist bands are just $3. Children’s activities include art projects, make and take crafts, face painting, a climbing wall and more. Kid’s activities start at noon and end at 5 p.m.

The event is produced and hosted by the Ogden Downtown Alliance. A non-profit group that features local businesses, community partners and live entertainment. As such, the event doesn’t accept any vendor applications.

Community partners helping support the event and activities include Liquid Canvas, Ogden Nature Center, Nurture the Creative Mind, Eccles Community Art Center and more.

The Main Stage Schedule is as follows:

Noon – Young Valley Boys

1:30 p.m. – Tony Holiday & The Velvetones

3:00 p.m. – The Johnny Utahs

4:30 p.m. – Troubador 77

5:30 p.m. – Endless Indulgence Fashion Show

6:15 p.m. – Sammy Brue

Visit Historic 25th for more information regarding the community stage and arm wrestling tournament schedule.

Should You Adopt a Shelter Pet?

dog-2606759_640Pets can impact your life in tremendous ways from emotional to physical benefits. Adopting a pet will be one of the most rewarding things you can do for yourself, your family and the animal. Following are the positives, a few negatives and some tips and tricks regarding pet adoption.


You could potentially save two lives – the one you adopt and the one you just made room for. Many shelters are often operating at full capacity. Almost 57,000 animals entered shelters last year. Nearly 20 percent of those animals were put down.

Adopting saves money. Usually, shelter pets have already had all of their vaccinations, health and behavior check-ups, been spayed or neutered and come microchipped. All of these costs are included in the adoption fees along with a free follow-up vet exam.

You will have a large selection to choose from because shelters house small, medium and large pets. They also house young and mature pets along with pure and mixed breeds. You will be able to find the right pet ensuring the perfect fit for your living situation.


You may not be given much information about your animal. The shelter may or may not know about the animal’s history and his prior circumstances. They might have to guess about his breed and health care so far and there’s no way to know how the animal will act in his new home.

Also, you can expect there to be a fair amount of paperwork involved and you may experience possible waiting periods. You also could be rejected for the dog you initially wanted due to the organization’s requirements.

Some shelter animals have special needs and/or behavioral problems that you may not be ready or willing to deal with.

Make sure to give your new animal a walk or playful exercise right before bringing them home. The exercise will not only be good for everyone involved but will tire the animal out a little smoothing the transition to a new home.


Shelters in Utah:

Utah Animal Adoption Center
1955 N. Redwood Rd.
Salt Lake City

Humane Society of Utah
4242 300 W.

South Ogden Animal Services
5594 S 600 E
Washington Terrace

Ogden City Animal Services
1490 Park Blvd.

Weber County Animal Services
1373 Fairgrounds Drive

North Salt Lake Animal Shelter
1422 E 600 N

Roy Animal Control
5051 S 1900 W

5 Factors that Affect Your Homeowners Insurance Premiums

home-2095258_640House hunting can be quite the process but finally closing on the house you’ve always wanted makes the tedious process worth the while. Now that you have a home you should probably insure your investment. The following factors can affect the price of your homeowner’s insurance premium:

Home Features and Characteristics
The age of your home along with the type of structure, roof, wiring, garage and more can all affect the insurance premium. For example, older homes usually cost more to insure.

We’ve heard it before, but it’s all about location, location, location. Your insurance premium and rate can be affected if you live close to a fire station, are often exposed to extreme weather conditions such as hurricanes and tornadoes or you live in a neighborhood that is more prone to crime and theft.

Protective Devices
While other items on this list tend to increase your premiums, the following can help lower them. Alarm systems, smoke and carbon dioxide detectors, fire extinguishers, sprinkler systems and deadbolt locks can lower your insurance costs.

Personal Factors
Such as smoking and credit score can affect your homeowner’s insurance costs as well. Usually smokers tend to pay more while a good credit history can lower the amount you pay for insurance.

Claim History
Just like car insurance, a history of claims means that you could pay a higher premium for your homeowner’s insurance coverage.


Here’s what to expect when looking at a typical homeowners insurance policy:

Your policy may differ in structure, but most policies contain the following sections:

  • Declaration Page

Typically, the first page within the policy contains summary information like the name and address of the insured, the dollar amount of coverage, description of insured property, cost of the insurance, name of the insurance company and their contact information.

  • Definitions

The definition page lists and explains the meanings of the various terms used within the policy.

  • Coverage

The coverage section explains and details the protection in your homeowners insurance policy for property such as house, structure and contents along with liability including bodily injury and/or property damage to others.

  • Exclusions

This section provides information and explanation of what is not covered under property and liability by your insurance policy.

  • Conditions

This section usually outlines each party’s responsibilities under the policy terms. The procedures to settle any losses, claims or disputes are detailed within this section.

  • Endorsements

Any and all amendments or attachments that alter the standard coverage provided by your policy can be found in this section. Some additional endorsements include flood and earthquake protection and require an additional premium.

Best Public Schools in Northern Utah

school-2276269_640Constant worrying presents one of the tropes of parenting. You worry about what and how much your kids are eating, about their development, spending quality time, making memories and so much more. Worry less about their education with this comprehensive list of the best rated schools in Davis County. The ratings are derived from statewide test scores in math, science and language arts.   


H.C. Burton: A+ rating – Preschool through 6th

  • Math: A
  • Science: A+
  • Language Arts: A+

Endeavor Elementary School: A+ rating – kindergarten through 6th

  • Math: A+
  • Science: A+
  • Language Arts: A+

Snow Horse Elementary School: A+ rating – kindergarten through 6th

  • Math: A
  • Science: A+
  • Language Arts: A+

Junior High

Millcreek Junior High School: A+ rating – Grades 7 through 9

  • Math: A+
  • Science: A+
  • Language Arts: A+  

Centerville Junior High School: A rating – Grades 7 through 9

  • Math: A
  • Science: A
  • Language Arts: A+

Farmington Junior High School: A+ rating – Grades 7 through 9

  • Math: A+
  • Science: A+
  • Language Arts: A

High School

Northern Utah Academy for Math Engineering and Science (NUAMES) School: A+ rating – Grades 10 through 12

  • Math: A+
  • Science: A+
  • Language Arts: A+

Viewpoint High School: A rating – Grades 10 through 12

  • Math: A
  • Science: A
  • Language Arts: A+

Davis High: A- rating – Grades 10 through 12

  • Math: B+
  • Science: A-
  • Language Arts: A+


Syracuse Arts Academy School: A rating – kindergarten through 9th

  • Math: A
  • Science: A
  • Language Arts: A+

Legacy Preparatory Academy School: A rating – kindergarten through 11th

  • Math: A
  • Science: A
  • Language Arts: B+

North Davis Preparatory Academy School: A- rating – kindergarten through 9th  

  • Math: A-
  • Science: B+
  • Language Arts: A-

5 Reasons to Reconsider For Sale By Owner

home-2406416_640Every year homeowners contemplate hiring an agent or listing their property for sale by owner (FSBO). However, FSBO might not be the best option for the majority of sellers. Here are a few considerations to mull over before you decide if you have the chops to take on a complex real estate transaction.

You probably don’t have the time

Think about it, do you really want to be answering calls and knocks at the door from complete strangers who may or may not actually be potential buyers? Safety and privacy are big considerations when deciding to sell without an agent.

After sale issues

Although employing an agent doesn’t protect you from liability or guarantee that there won’t be any after-sale consequences, they help by taking precautionary steps. An example of an after sale issue includes a leaky roof and the buyer now wanting you to pay for a new roof. However, if you disclosed the leaky roof before the sale your bases should be covered. The key to avoiding after sale issues lies with prevention.

You may not be saving money after all

One of the most common reasons for someone to try and sell their house on their own is to save money. Although a very valid reason, the average FSBO home sold for $210,00 in 2014 compared to $249,000 for a home sold by a real estate agent according to the National Association of Realtors.

You could get scammed

Or taken advantage of. Buyers often feel that they can get a better price or deal for themselves because owners lack the skills and knowledge to negotiate. By employing an agent, you will have an expert negotiator in your corner ensuring you get top dollar for your property.

It’s all about the details

Underestimating the complexity involved during the entire real estate purchasing process can be detrimental. The list of potential mistakes is huge unless you are aware of your state’s laws and regulations regarding real estate transactions. Knowing how to read closing documents, fill out purchase agreements and calculate the true value of the property are extremely beneficial skills in protecting you from future litigation.

Get Ready for June Gardening:

vegetables-790022_1280The shining sun and warm weather mean that summer and gardening season are just around the corner. Most of Utah falls under zone 5 of the USDA Plant Hardiness Zones. This map helps gardeners and growers identify which plants will thrive in certain locations and best of all, when to plant and harvest them. So put on your hat, find your gloves and get going on this gardening to-do list for June.  

Flowers & Plants:

  • Divide and transplant spring-flowering perennials that have finished blooming.
  • Sow or plant seeds of perennials directly into the ground.
  • Fertilize roses now.
    • Trick: To supply potassium, blend banana peels in a blender, then add the mixture beneath the mulch around your roses.
  • Pinch newest shoots on geranium plants to encourage fuller plants.
  • Feed roses as the first flower buds appear and apply fungicide to prevent powdery mildew or blackspot disease from appearing
    • Tip: Organic fungicides that work on blackspot disease include copper, lime sulfur, neem oil, potassium or ammonium bicarbonate and sulfur.
  • Mulch flower gardens to conserve water and keep costs down during heat waves.

Fruits & Vegetables:

  • Weed strawberry and asparagus beds.
  • Feed young corn plants with high-nitrogen fish emulsion fertilizer.
  • Dust potato plants to prevent infestations of potato beetle.
    • Did you know? The potato beetle is one of the most difficult garden pests to get rid of due to its developed resistance to many insecticides.
  • Mulch vegetable gardens to conserve water during heat waves.
  • Spray tomato plants with compost tea to prevent diseases.
    • Trick: Make your own compost teat by steeping an old pillowcase filled with compost in a bucket of water.
  • Harvest salad crops and replant every 2 weeks for a constant supply of tasty leaves.
  • Great time to start planting sweet potatoes and regular (russet) potatoes.
  • You can also start planting carrots, peppers, cucumbers, winter and summer squash.
  • Toward the end of the month start planting corn and beans.
  • Don’t forget to harvest spinach, broccoli, beets and peas this month.

Lawn & Trees:

  • Train your lawn to grow deep roots by mowing often, at a high setting.
  • Did you know: Deep roots are the key to a healthy lawn and improving drought tolerance.
  • Make sure your lawn gets one inch of water per week. If you irrigate, water deeply to encourage deeper roots.
  • Control existing weeds with a post-emergent herbicide, or by pulling or digging.
    • Tip: Removing weeds before they bloom and disperse their seeds helps reduce next year’s crop.
  • Plant balled-and-burlapped and container shrubs and trees.
  • Thin out small green fruits on apple, peach and plum trees to one every 6-inches on the branch