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Archive for the 'Saving You Money' Category

Best Buy 10% Off Coupon For Your Holiday Weekend

Although this site is all about news and information on Pensacola real estate, I do like to provide money saving information for my readers when I find it. Here is a link to a 10% off coupon at Best Buy. It is good through July 7, 2008 and is only for use in the store.

Best Buy Coupon

If you are planning on making some home improvements, check out my article on how you can get money saving coupons for Lowes and Home Depot.

Saving Money On Home Improvement Projects 

If you are in the market for a new home in Pensacola, or anywhere else, be careful about applying for any kind of credit at these stores. They often offer you special deals if you apply for credit, but I just showed you how to get 10% off, so don’t blow your credit score on these gimmicks. It could affect your ability to get a mortgage. See my article below for more information.

 Tips On How Not To Lose A Home Loan After You Are Already Approved

Happy 4th of July. Have a safe and fun weekend.

Click on Pensacola Real Estate News for a list of articles indexed by category.

Posted by Karl Burger | Currently No Comments »

Make Sure Your Home Warranty Is There When You Need It (Follow-up)

A few weeks back I wrote an article on Pensacola Real Estate News about how you should protect your investment in a home warranty by making sure that all warranted items were in working condition when you moved into your home. I noted that the home warranty company would try to find a way out of paying for repairs if at all possible. The article was written based on the experiences of one of my clients. You can read that article by clicking on this link: Pensacola Real Estate News – Home Warranty Article

The fact that I am writing a follow-up article tells you that I’ve learned something since that previous article was published. I also learned that I have readers out there who are sharing feedback with me, and I greatly appreciate that. Man_cookingJust the fact that I have readers really excites me.

The day after publishing that article, a manager from the local branch of Old Republic Home Warranty company called me. He thanked me for the great article and was very complimentary (Thank you Stewart). He also told me that my article was accurate up until mid-December 2007. He said that in December Old Republic modified their agreement to cover unknown pre-existing conditions. I took a look at the new home warranty agreement and found the following wording:

Coverage may apply to a malfunction which existed on the effective date of the Plan if, at that time, the malfunction was unknown, and would not have been detectable to seller, buyer or agent by visual inspection and simple mechanical test. This Plan does not cover known defects.

I will let my readers decide how they feel about this wording. I believe it does indicate that they would cover an unknown pre-existing condition, but I do not like the word “may”. I prefer the word “will”, as in “coverage WILL apply”.

I do appreciate the call from the home warranty manager, and I fully believe he is sincere in his promise that they will cover pre-existing unknown problems. I do, however, still suggest that home buyers follow my advice given in the previous article. Check out all warranted equipment when you move in to your new home.

As for my client, well I’m afraid he was a male who doesn’t do much cooking and wasn’t clear on how to operate his warranted oven. After he was told by the sweet home warranty operator that his problem was not covered because he did not know if it worked when he moved in, he took another shot at it and found that the oven worked fine once he turned the correct knobs in the correct order. Now this guy in the picture is not my client, thank goodness. While he appears to know how to operate the stove, he kind of creeps me out with that sinister grin. I have to wonder what he is cooking.

Aside from the creepy dude,  all is well with my client, and his lack of oven experience happened to make for a great article. However, he purchased his home warranty in February of 2008, after the new policy was in place. Thus the new “unknown pre-existing” clause should have been in effect. Was the home warranty operator unaware of the change in the contract? Or was she aware of the change, and still trying to avoid paying a claim?  Good question.

I must end this article by saying that I have other clients who had warranties through Old Republic and were extremely satisfied with the service they received on warranted equipment. I am not trying to criticize any warranty company’s service, only trying to show home buyers how to protect themselves against the unknown.

Click on Pensacola Real Estate News for a list of articles indexed by category.


Posted by Karl Burger | Currently No Comments »

Make Sure Your Home Warranty Is There When You Need It, Money Saving Advice From Pensacola Real Estate News

When buying or selling real estate, home warranty plans are often included as an incentive from the seller to the buyer,  or sometimes as a negotiation tool. I recommend all of my home buyers get a home warranty, even if the seller is not offering a home warranty and the buyer has to pay for it. In this buyer’s real estate market, motivated sellers should offer a home warranty. Customer_Service_Rep_RS380

However, this article is not about getting a home warranty. This article is about how to protect your investment in a home warranty once you have it. Remember, the home warranty provider does not make money by fixing your problems. The home warranty provider wants to find a way to get out of fixing your problems, and thus keeping their money.  Please take this advice to heart. It could save you a lot of frustration and money.

This article is based on an experience of a buyer who was my client. The behaviors described in this article may not be true for all home warranty companies. But the advice given is important, no matter who issues your home warranty.


Let’s say that you purchased a home, along with a home warranty plan. You are feeling good knowing that if you have problems with warranted items, you pay a small service fee and the home warranty company will cover the rest. You had your home inspected prior to closing and the inspector told you that everything was in working condition.

Let’s say that you close on your home in July, a very hot time of year in Pensacola.  Why would you think of running your heater in July?

Now November comes, and a blast of cold air comes down from the north. It is time to get some heat on. But to your dismay, the heater does not seem to be blowing any hot air. After checking what little you actually know how to check, and getting advice from your friends who don’t know any more about heating and A/C units than you do, you decide it is time to call the warranty company.

Important: Don’t bother calling your real estate agent. He or she likely knows very little about heating systems, and that is why he or she recommended you get a home warranty.


You dig up your paperwork from the real estate closing, and give the warranty company a call. A very sweet customer service representative from the warranty company answers. She talks to you like a friend, sharing how terrible she feels that you may have to endure a few cold nights in your home while you wait for service. After several minutes of basic question and answer conversation, you are feeling very good about the whole situation. This warranty company really cares about you. You can just hear it in her voice. She is like a genuine friend.

And then the warranty company representative asks if you have tried the heater since you moved in to your new home. Your guard is down, you are at ease with your friend on the other end of the phone, and you answer “Well, no. We bought the home in July and it was very hot. But we had a home inspection and the inspector ensured us that the heater worked when the home was inspected”.

Then the warm and friendly answer on the other end comes. “We’re sorry, but since you have told us that you did not know if your heater worked when you purchased the home, we are not obligated to cover it under your warranty plan. You did not actually own the home when the inspector tested the heating system”.

OUCH!!! Even though the weather has gotten cold, you are now feeling pretty hot. But don’t lose your cool, as you can be sure the call is being recorded “to ensure quality service”.

Home_warranty_ProviderDon’t let this happen to you. When you move into your new home, test every item that is covered under the home warranty. If it is the middle of winter, test your air conditioning. If it is the middle of summer, test your heater. Test all of the burners on your stove, even if you never cook. Test all the features of your oven and your dishwasher. If the seller left you a freezer in the garage that you really don’t need right now, test it anyway.

Now if you have a problem in the future, you can call your home warranty company and say “YES, I know it worked when I moved in because I used it”. It is as simple as that. You keep your warranty in force.

BUT what if you move in and test your heater, or your stove, or your A/C, and find that it doesn’t work? You have no way of proving that it worked at the time you purchased your home warranty, which was at the closing table. What are you going to tell the warranty company when they ask you if you have tried it since you moved in and verified that it worked? I just wrote this article to explain how to protect your home warranty, not to answer moral dilemmas. Hopefully you will never have to decide how you would answer your friendly home warranty operator in this situation.

After publishing this article, a local home warranty company contacted me with updated information. You can read about it in my follow-up article on home warranties.


Posted by Karl Burger | Currently No Comments »

DirectBuy In Pensacola Florida

I had never actually heard of DirectBuy, most likely because I don’t watch much television. But at the Pensacola real estate investors meeting last week, someone mentioned that a DirectBuy store had opened in Pensacola. It is on Navy Blvd, next to the Goofy Golf. This is just about a block east of Old Corry Field road.

If you want to know more about DirectBuy, just search for it on Google. They claim to provide you super savings on all sorts of home products, such as furniture, appliances, cabinets, and almost anything you need for your home.  A nice lady on the web site tells you all about how you are being charged far too much money for standard household products and how DirectBuy can save you big money on almost anything for your home.

Once you’ve checked out the DirectBuy website infomercial, Google DirectBuy again and look down a few links to the Infomercial Scams link.  I can save you the time. Here it is.

Read up on some experiences people have posted on this site. Then make your own decision on whether or not you want to save money using DirectBuy. I personally do not like high pressure sales situations. That is one reason I like real estate. I offer guidance and support for people buying and selling homes, which helps to build real lasting relationships with clients. I could never be a high pressure sales person.

Being a neutral party who has no experience whatsoever with DirectBuy, I also recommend reading the defenses part of the web page, where DirectBuy members talk about their good experiences with DirectBuy. Follow the link below: 

And go here for a Consumer Reports article on DirectBuy:

As one commenter on the above linked blog wrote, “If your household income is less than $100-150K depending on where in the country you are, I’d recommend you don’t do it, as your expendable income isn’t going to allow you to spend the amount of money they you’re likely to want to recoup. ” Hmmm? How many people in Pensacola make over $150K per year?  

As for the fees DirectBuy charges for the privilege of being a member? Their website won’t tell you how much it cost to become a member. You will have to go to a sales presentation. The scams website will give you a rough idea of the cost. I think I’ll take my money and invest in Pensacola real estate. The market is low and there are plenty of good deals available. I recommend holding your money for a down payment on a home, rather than spending it on a shopping club. But that is just me. I’m not big into shopping.

I hope this article will help you save some of your hard earned money. If you do choose to go for a DirectBuy presentation, let me know how it goes. I would love to hear about how the local Pensacola operation is run.

Click on Pensacola Real Estate News for a list of articles indexed by category.

Posted by Karl Burger | Currently 2 Comments »

Getting Electronics for Your New Home? Get 10% Off At Best Buy

Although my primary purpose is to post news and information about Pensacola real estate, I do like to provide money saving information for my readers when I find it. If you are in the market for a new home and need some nice electronics, or you just want to buy some cool stuff, here is a link to a 10% off coupon at Best Buy. It is good through April 30, 2008.

If you are in the market for a new home in Pensacola, or anywhere else, be careful about any kind of credit purchase before buying your new home. It could affect your ability to get a mortgage. See my article below for more information.

 Tips On How Not To Lose A Home Loan After You Are Already Approved

Happy shopping.

Posted by Karl Burger | Currently No Comments »

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