HVAC: Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning
The house we bought a couple of years ago was built in 1963.
I fell in love with the house the moment I walked in the front door, it had me at hello.
Before I’d even made my way through the entire house or seen the backyard I’d already imagined myself living there…knew where I’d put our couch and bookcases.
The furnace and air conditioning weren’t as old as the house, still, they were ancient. But I was already a goner by the time I saw the green rusty monstrosity that was the air conditioner. I saw the house in the summer, the house was cool enough, the air conditioner WAS working, but darn, it looked like it was on its last leg. Learned it was installed in 1986. It was working, but for how much longer?
No one looking at houses falls in love with a heating ventilation and air conditioning system. The HVAC is one of those after the fact things…irrelevant if you don’t care for the house, or a thing to contend with if you have indeed fallen in love.
The HVAC is one of those things that make the lovestruck buyer squeal in delight if they discover its relatively new…what great news! Love the house and the furnace is new!
If it’s old or ancient as was the case with the house that had already become the object of my affection…it’s a how do I deal with it??
What’s a buyer to do??
Decide if it’s a deal breaker.
Maybe you don’t love the house quite that much, maybe one of the others you’ve seen are lovable and have newer systems.
Ask that the seller replace it.
In my experience this doesn’t happen. But hey…you can ask.
Recognize a new HVAC system is in your sooner rather than later future and consider your offer price accordingly.
Sellers most often say, “it’s older but working fine, we’ve never had a problem with it.” But sellers, realistic sellers, know an old furnace and air conditioner are going to be an issue for most buyers and will take it into account in negotiating.
Cross your fingers and hope it keeps working.
If you go this route you’ll want to be sure to consider accumulating some savings for the day it goes kaput, because it will.
Request a home warranty from the seller or purchase one yourself.
A one year home warranty buys you time to save, and buys peace of mind too. If the furnace or a/c goes out during the coverage period, the warranty will cover much of the cost of replacement.
My house had me at hello. I was a goner. The HVAC wasn’t a deal breaker…and the sellers gave me the answer I most often hear, “it’s old but working fine.” They weren’t replacing it…heck, they didn’t even give it consideration in our negotiations, they didn’t care about their ancient furnace and air conditioner, and I guess I didn’t either. I wanted the house. In the end, they did agree to the home warranty. It was enough to have me squealing with delight…love the house, the HVAC is ancient, but there’s a warranty!!
Postscript: The warranty coverage period outlasted the ancient a/c…the house now has a new air conditioner…and the warranty covered most of it…squeal!
The Amy Curtis Group specializes in helping folks buy homes that have them squealing with delight…give us a holler!