Buying first home with old hvac

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dm200
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Re: Buying first home with old hvac

Post by dm200 » Tue May 02, 2017 3:23 pm

abs9986 wrote:We are in process of buying our first condo and after the inspection found out that all hvac equipment is original and 20 years old. Everything is working fine but I'm worried that this will be a big expense at some point soon. We already agreed on the purchase price.
Any recommendations on what we can do? Can we ask for credit or replacement or a warranty. This must happen a lot so I'm curious what others do.
You can ask for whatever you want, but if I were the seller and the condo were priced fairly, I would probably not give further "concessions". It all depends on the type of HVAC, but 20 years (when you are old like I am) does not seem that "old".

Our house (purchased about 40 years ago) still has the original boiler from when the house was build in about 1939-1940 (although the burner has been repleaced).

Pdxnative
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Re: Buying first home with old hvac

Post by Pdxnative » Tue May 02, 2017 3:48 pm

There's nothing wrong with adjusting your offer after the inspection, based on anything that concerns you during the inspection. The idea that you would be looking up serial numbers prior to making an offer is a little ridiculous imo. The point of an inspection contingency is for you to seek expert advice and then adjust your offer if you see fit. First time buyers almost always learn something that seem obvious to experienced homeowners.

However, If I were the seller I probably wouldn't budge based on a 20 year old Hvac unless something was wrong. In your position I would have an hvac specialist inspect for things like cracked heat exchanger. If everything is in order, that 20 year old system could last longer than a new one would.

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Re: Buying first home with old hvac

Post by iamlucky13 » Tue May 02, 2017 4:09 pm

Kosmo wrote:
iamlucky13 wrote:That would be an inspection, and the average homeowner most certainly does not know how a given manfacturer has encoded dates in serial numbers or behind what cover something with a date might be, nor even what a typical heating system life expectancy is.
Unless you buy sight unseen, you make a visual inspection of the house. An open house, a private showing, etc. You can relatively easily estimate the age of everything in the house. Certainly HVAC, water heater, well pump, appliances, and the like. Things like wood flooring and cabinets, less so because they can be refinished. The buyer is expected to observe these items and factor in their condition to the price offered. 5 minutes or less on the internet will tell you how to read any manufacturers serial number.

An inspection by a certified inspector is to find things that are non-obvious to the buyer. And for anything non-obvious to him, he's going to recommend a specialist (HVAC tech, plumber, electrician, etc.) as CYA.
I can. I know plenty of others who can't.

Regardless, you're talking past the point. I've never seen an inspection contingency that restricted the findings of inspections to things not visible during a viewing. Heck, I've never even talked to a person in the process of buying a home who mentioned looking up AC serial numbers on the internet or tested the oven for every home they were considering putting an offer on, nor did our realtor suggest we should do so when we bought.

I have, however, seen as a regular provision of inspection contingencies that inspections can not alter the home or access totally enclosed spaces - in effect, the standard inspection contingency forbids you from inspecting almost anything that can't be seen during a viewing (although the owner would probably wisely forbid you from going into space where you could get hurt like the crawlspace or attic during a viewing).

If you had a different experience and were perhaps forced to continue with an original offer despite inspection findings or forfeit your earnest money, I'm sorry that happened, but it is not the norm.

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tinscale
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Re: Buying first home with old hvac

Post by tinscale » Tue May 02, 2017 7:32 pm

The asking price reflects the age and condition of the house and its components.

You could ask the seller to replace it and increase the purchase price, but then you'd be paying for it over 30 years or whatever.

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Re: Buying first home with old hvac

Post by riverguy » Tue May 02, 2017 7:39 pm

It's crazy to even look at a house without looking at the major items. As many have said, it's so easy to, why wouldn't you?

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Re: Buying first home with old hvac

Post by inbox788 » Wed May 03, 2017 2:05 am

unclescrooge wrote:Ask seller to pay for a home warranty covering all appliances.

Then keep it until the a/c dies. It might run another 10 years!
Most of those warranties are useless. I would lower the price of the bid by the cost of a replacement HVAC or be prepared to pay for the replacement in the near future.

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Re: Buying first home with old hvac

Post by Chip » Wed May 03, 2017 3:28 am

I guess a lot depends on how motivated the seller is and how badly the OP wants the condo.

I know if I were selling and had agreed on the price and the buyer then asked for a credit for a working, but aged, appliance I would:

1. Gently suggest to the buyer that they should consider buying a brand new condo.
2. Tell them to pound sand.

Not necessarily in that order.

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Re: Buying first home with old hvac

Post by Frisco Kid » Wed May 03, 2017 6:59 am

This is why buying/selling real estate can be so stressful. Walk the property, make your offer and except for issues during an inspection on things you can't see, stick to it. In our area the average home is 60-90 years old, every mechanical system will have some wear. This is the norm. In many markets the more hoops the buyer asks the seller to jump through the less likely it is you will get the house.

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Re: Buying first home with old hvac

Post by jharkin » Wed May 03, 2017 8:26 am

iamlucky13 wrote:
Regardless, you're talking past the point. I've never seen an inspection contingency that restricted the findings of inspections to things not visible during a viewing. Heck, I've never even talked to a person in the process of buying a home who mentioned looking up AC serial numbers on the internet or tested the oven for every home they were considering putting an offer on, nor did our realtor suggest we should do so when we bought.

I have, however, seen as a regular provision of inspection contingencies that inspections can not alter the home or access totally enclosed spaces - in effect, the standard inspection contingency forbids you from inspecting almost anything that can't be seen during a viewing (although the owner would probably wisely forbid you from going into space where you could get hurt like the crawlspace or attic during a viewing).

If you had a different experience and were perhaps forced to continue with an original offer despite inspection findings or forfeit your earnest money, I'm sorry that happened, but it is not the norm.
Agree - this is all completely normal. Home inspection is a largely visible process, they look at everything and perform simple tests on easily accessible systems. Inspectors wont cut holes in walls or in any other way evaluate anything that cant be easily accessed with simple tools in a non-destructive manner. Home inspector contracts are full of disclaimers about this.

Most inspectors are part of a trade group called InterNACHI. You can look that up and find lots of detail about how inspections are done. That group has an online inspection reference that is also a great tool to keep bookmarked as a homeowner, you can use it to diagnose a lot of issues on your own down the road:
http://inspectapedia.com/

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Re: Buying first home with old hvac

Post by wfrobinette » Wed May 03, 2017 8:51 am

deanbrew wrote:
clutchied wrote:the price is negotiated prior to inspections. If the inspection happens and things are at end of life like the roof or HVAC yes, I expect to be able to negotiate something on those.

I don't think that is unreasonable. You can't expect to command full price on a previously negotiated item to later find out things are at end of life. Maybe I'm crazy or maybe it's because I've had to replace HVAC a couple of years after buying a house that I don't see it that way... I always ask and they are welcome to say no.
The price is negotiated prior to inspections that are designed to show if anything is not working or if there are unobservable defects. You can easily look at the roof and HVAC system while you walk through the property. Or ask the seller how old they are and if there are any problems before making an offer. It is unethical to negotiate a price knowing the roof and HVAC are 20 years old and then come back later and try to get the price lowered because, well, they are 20 years old.

And what is "full price"? There is no "full price" when it comes to resale homes (or cars or boats or RVs or anything else). I plan to sell my home in a couple of years, and some of the comments on here are making me dread the process after I think I have negotiated a sale price. My inclination is to "say no" to any buyer who wants to negotiate the deal after we have negotiated the deal.
I wouldn't trust a darn thing that the owner tells me. Frankly, I don't even trust the sellers discloser particularily if they aren't the original owners.

I nor 95% of buyers would have no idea what a roof should look like nor how old an HVAC system is. Ask the seller that question and the answer your getting is "it hasn't been replaced since I owned the home". How long have you owned the home? "5 years" What's that tell you? Absolutely nothing.

Do you have any problems? "Not that I am aware of" When's the last time it's been serviced? "A few years ago" Again tells you nothing.

It is not unethical for a buyer to ask for things after an inspection found that the roof is beyond the useful life, the HVAC is beyond it's useful life, there is wood rot, evidence of a prior leak etc.

If you don't want that crap coming up when you sell, get all your records together and summarize everything in a binder and be upfront with everything.

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Re: Buying first home with old hvac

Post by deanbrew » Wed May 03, 2017 9:32 am

wfrobinette wrote: It is not unethical for a buyer to ask for things after an inspection found that the roof is beyond the useful life, the HVAC is beyond it's useful life, there is wood rot, evidence of a prior leak etc.
The OP says the HVAC is original and 20 years old. An inspection coming back and telling you that the HVAC is original and 20 years old tells you nothing new, and does not indicate that the HVAC system isn't working properly. If a buyer brings up anything about "beyond the useful life" and wants a discount, I'm telling him it's working fine and I'm not discounting anything. The same applies to a roof that is 20 years old. Those things have already been factored into the price, or should have been. It seems to me that if it's working, it's still within the useful life. I don't replace a furnace because it hit its 20th birthday.

Wood rot or a leaking roof are another matter altogether, and are examples of things that should legitimately be addressed.

As I said, since I plan to sell my house in a year or two, I'm glad I am reading this thread. It is giving me insight into how buyers think, and how they will use negotiation tactics that I believe are unethical (IMO, of course). It also reinforces the thought that home inspections are used not only in a legitimate manner, but also as an avenue for unreasonable demands and an escape clause for backing out due to buyer's remorse.
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Re: Buying first home with old hvac

Post by Nate79 » Wed May 03, 2017 11:46 am

Chip wrote:I guess a lot depends on how motivated the seller is and how badly the OP wants the condo.

I know if I were selling and had agreed on the price and the buyer then asked for a credit for a working, but aged, appliance I would:

1. Gently suggest to the buyer that they should consider buying a brand new condo.
2. Tell them to pound sand.

Not necessarily in that order.
Assuming offer on the table, deposit made and then inspection done the concern about the HVAC should not be negotiable point in my mind. So I would start with #2.

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Re: Buying first home with old hvac

Post by iamlucky13 » Wed May 03, 2017 12:12 pm

jharkin wrote:Most inspectors are part of a trade group called InterNACHI. You can look that up and find lots of detail about how inspections are done. That group has an online inspection reference that is also a great tool to keep bookmarked as a homeowner, you can use it to diagnose a lot of issues on your own down the road:
http://inspectapedia.com/
Yep, and a lot of them are former contractors who switched to inspecting. Between personal experience and the fact that they see so many homes, they often have a very good idea how things should be done.

As a result, I've found the InterNACHI forums a good place to browse for clarifications on the best way to do my own projects. DIY forums often have poor advice and almost always have contradictory advice.
Nate79 wrote:Assuming offer on the table, deposit made and then inspection done the concern about the HVAC should not be negotiable point in my mind. So I would start with #2.
And the inspection contingency would allow you to. The seller has to weigh what they think the buyer will pay against the risk they'll walk away. The offer is the start of negotiations, not the end. Both the buyer and the seller can insist on their positions in the process, but the sale doesn't continue until they reach an agreement.

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Re: Buying first home with old hvac

Post by ResearchMed » Wed May 03, 2017 12:19 pm

iamlucky13 wrote:
jharkin wrote:Most inspectors are part of a trade group called InterNACHI. You can look that up and find lots of detail about how inspections are done. That group has an online inspection reference that is also a great tool to keep bookmarked as a homeowner, you can use it to diagnose a lot of issues on your own down the road:
http://inspectapedia.com/
Yep, and a lot of them are former contractors who switched to inspecting. Between personal experience and the fact that they see so many homes, they often have a very good idea how things should be done.

As a result, I've found the InterNACHI forums a good place to browse for clarifications on the best way to do my own projects. DIY forums often have poor advice and almost always have contradictory advice.
Nate79 wrote:Assuming offer on the table, deposit made and then inspection done the concern about the HVAC should not be negotiable point in my mind. So I would start with #2.
And the inspection contingency would allow you to. The seller has to weigh what they think the buyer will pay against the risk they'll walk away. The offer is the start of negotiations, not the end. Both the buyer and the seller can insist on their positions in the process, but the sale doesn't continue until they reach an agreement.
+1 to this last paragraph!

:confused

I think a lot of folks here give the rest of us more credit than due in terms of our knowledge of some "home systems".
And I'm not sure what the "take away message" in this thread has been, for those who've never yet bought a home...

I'd be able to tell if something was brand spanking new, all metal shining (assuming the metal was supposed to be "shining", which is not always the case anyway).
But is an HVAC system or boiler or water heater 3 years old? 5 or 10? 20 or 30? Clueless.
Are there "obvious" signs that any system is near end of life? (or broken, if wrong season to operate) Clueless.
Would we know what to look for in terms of signs of other potential (or past, or in some cases, current) problems? Probably not.
Can we check as best as possible for termite damage or such? Nope, not except for truly obvious infestation.
(We've also had a contractor or such come in, separately from the "official" inspector, to give us a sanity check on potential repairs/renovations, and approximate costs.)

That is precisely why buyers (at least, buyers like us and at least some other BH'ers) have home inspections.

I've NEVER had a seller object to a discussion about $$ and some "problem".
Worst case? "No adjusment, sorry."
Best case? "Okay, we'll have that fixed/replaced."
Or something in between, such as "We'll split the estimate halfway, okay?" or "How about if we handle it this way....?"

As for an "escape clause", well sure. That's the point.
Finding there are "things wrong" that weren't anticipated, and can't be fixed or no satisfactory adjustment made?
Walking at that point is not "buyer's remorse"; it's "buyer beware".
That's why there is an "inspection contingency", much like a "financing contingency", one that is used or waived.
And at least in our areas, it has to be done quite quickly, typically within 7 or 10 days maximum (absent other agreed upon terms, which we haven't encountered).
(The financing contingency is usually given more time, which is the real "delay" risk for a seller.)
In some cases, there are backup offers waiting in the wings to pounce, in other case, not.

Telling a buyer or seller to "pound sand" (in any wording)?
If a seller "told us off" when we raised a concern (or seemed to accuse us of being "unethical" or even hinted at that), that would be such a huge red flag, we'd probably leave skid marks behind!

I'm not sure what types of "homebuying" experiences some of you have had, but that's not anything like the reasonable (and civilized/polite) interactions I've had over many decades (and a lot of buying and selling, including primary residences, rental properties, and fixer-uppers).
In some cases, there were no "issues". In some other cases, there definitely were some.
There was never a time when any animosity interfered with the process, even though there were certainly times that various "adjustments" to the price were made, in response to "issues".
This happened to us as both Buyer and as Seller, on several occasions each.
Some were in very hot real estate markets, and some were in... not so hot markets.

It's never been "Reality TV: Homebuying/Selling - Week x, The Confrontation!" :annoyed

We did have one tricky situation, as Buyer, where the A/C could not be checked due to temperature (too cold).
So we and Seller agreed to escrow a certain amount. A few weeks after closing, we were able to determine A/C was functional, and we authorized the return of all funds to Seller.
(About 5 years later, the compressor failed. We replaced it. No big deal. Yes, it's part of the joys of home ownership.)

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Re: Buying first home with old hvac

Post by Pdxnative » Wed May 03, 2017 12:50 pm

^^ good summary. I'm stunned by folks questioning the ethics of renogotiating after an inspection. The contingency is there so that the buyer can conduct due diligence. I have seen renegotiation after inspection to replace worn carpet, reside a house, and painting--with both parties satisfied. Surely those items were visible during walk through. But both parties understood that the offer price is a starting point (based on buyer usually seeing the home for 30 minutes or so, and writing a quick offer). Sellers are free to reject the inspection contingency. The reason they don't is because it benefits them as much as it benefits the buyer. (In very hot markets, sellers may be in position to reject inspection contingency and demand cash, but that is rare).

So, both buyer and seller can make a rational economic decision after the inspection and related renegotiation, but ethics don't really enter into it.

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dm200
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Re: Buying first home with old hvac

Post by dm200 » Wed May 03, 2017 12:57 pm

Pdxnative wrote:^^ good summary. I'm stunned by folks questioning the ethics of renogotiating after an inspection. The contingency is there so that the buyer can conduct due diligence. I have seen renegotiation after inspection to replace worn carpet, reside a house, and painting--with both parties satisfied. Surely those items were visible during walk through. But both parties understood that the offer price is a starting point (based on buyer usually seeing the home for 30 minutes or so, and writing a quick offer). Sellers are free to reject the inspection contingency. The reason they don't is because it benefits them as much as it benefits the buyer. (In very hot markets, sellers may be in position to reject inspection contingency and demand cash, but that is rare).
So, both buyer and seller can make a rational economic decision after the inspection and related renegotiation, but ethics don't really enter into it.
If the seller correctly states (or responds) that the HVAC is 20 years old and the buyers knows this, then I seriously question bringing up the same known fact in negotiating because the home inspection confirms the same thing.

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Re: Buying first home with old hvac

Post by Pdxnative » Wed May 03, 2017 1:07 pm

dm200 wrote:
Pdxnative wrote:^^ good summary. I'm stunned by folks questioning the ethics of renogotiating after an inspection. The contingency is there so that the buyer can conduct due diligence. I have seen renegotiation after inspection to replace worn carpet, reside a house, and painting--with both parties satisfied. Surely those items were visible during walk through. But both parties understood that the offer price is a starting point (based on buyer usually seeing the home for 30 minutes or so, and writing a quick offer). Sellers are free to reject the inspection contingency. The reason they don't is because it benefits them as much as it benefits the buyer. (In very hot markets, sellers may be in position to reject inspection contingency and demand cash, but that is rare).
So, both buyer and seller can make a rational economic decision after the inspection and related renegotiation, but ethics don't really enter into it.
If the seller correctly states (or responds) that the HVAC is 20 years old and the buyers knows this, then I seriously question bringing up the same known fact in negotiating because the home inspection confirms the same thing.
Sure, if there was such a conversation before the offer was made, and the buyer understood the meaning of a 20 year old system, it would be awkward to raise it again as an issue. As a seller I'd roll my eyes. But this sounds like an inexperienced buyer who really doesn't know what s/he doesn't know. There's nothing unethical about renogotiating after learning more from the inspector imo. (Although, as I indicated earlier, I wouldn't budge much if I were the seller, and confident of market value).

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Re: Buying first home with old hvac

Post by deanbrew » Wed May 03, 2017 1:15 pm

The offer is the start of negotiations, not the end. Both the buyer and the seller can insist on their positions in the process, but the sale doesn't continue until they reach an agreement.
The agreement is reached when both parties end their negotiations and sign a contract. Which happens before the buyer hires a home inspector. Negotiations are not supposed to continue after the purchase agreement (contract) is signed by both parties.
As for an "escape clause", well sure. That's the point.
Finding there are "things wrong" that weren't anticipated, and can't be fixed or no satisfactory adjustment made?
A working 20 year old HVAC system in a dwelling that is 20 years old is not a defect, and is not something that is "wrong". If someone isn't anticipating that, are they also expecting new windows and new cabinets in a 20 year old home?
But both parties understood that the offer price is a starting point (based on buyer usually seeing the home for 30 minutes or so, and writing a quick offer).
Again? When I took a contract law course in college many years ago, I must have missed the part where a signed contract isn't really a binding on both parties. And, yes, I realize an inspection contingency is a contingency. But it's not supposed to be an escape clause because the inspector tells you that a 20 year old home has a 20 year old working HVAC system.

Yes, the offer price is a starting point, but the negotiated sale price contained in a purchase contract signed by both parties is not a starting point. It would be like the buyer calling 10 days later and saying "I had a higher offer and am reconsidering the deal. I'd like to raise the agreed price by $5,000." How would a buyer react to that? Would the phrase "pound sand" come to mind? Or perhaps some questioning of ethics?
Last edited by deanbrew on Wed May 03, 2017 1:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Buying first home with old hvac

Post by Chip » Wed May 03, 2017 1:16 pm

dm200 wrote:If the seller correctly states (or responds) that the HVAC is 20 years old and the buyers knows this, then I seriously question bringing up the same known fact in negotiating because the home inspection confirms the same thing.
This was the basis for my "pound sand" comment. Many of these things are disclosed up front. I certainly believe there are a subset of buyers (may be small) who use the inspection contingency as a hammer to beat down a price after getting a house taken off the market via an offer.

I would certainly listen to the results of the inspection. But if it's a laundry list of appliances that are near the end of someone's definition of "useful life" I'm not going to be interested in talking much further. They should go buy a new house for 100K more....

The seller I bought my house from had apparently been burned on inspection contingencies in the past and had inserted a clause that cosmetic details were not subject to the inspection contingency. I guess someone didn't like the wallpaper and tried to use the inspection contingency to reduce the price.

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Re: Buying first home with old hvac

Post by wfrobinette » Wed May 03, 2017 1:29 pm

deanbrew wrote:
The offer is the start of negotiations, not the end. Both the buyer and the seller can insist on their positions in the process, but the sale doesn't continue until they reach an agreement.
The agreement is reached when both parties end their negotiations and sign a contract. Which happens before the buyer hires a home inspector. Negotiations are not supposed to continue after the purchase agreement (contract) is signed by both parties.
As for an "escape clause", well sure. That's the point.
Finding there are "things wrong" that weren't anticipated, and can't be fixed or no satisfactory adjustment made?
A working 20 year old HVAC system in a dwelling that is 20 years old is not a defect, and is not something that is "wrong". If someone isn't anticipating that, are they also expecting new windows and new cabinets in a 20 year old home?
But both parties understood that the offer price is a starting point (based on buyer usually seeing the home for 30 minutes or so, and writing a quick offer).
Again? When I took a contract law course in college many years ago, I must have missed the part where a signed contract isn't really a binding on both parties. And, yes, I realize an inspection contingency is a contingency. But it's not supposed to be an escape clause because the inspector tells you that a 20 year old home has a 20 year old working HVAC system.

Yes, the offer price is a starting point, but the negotiated sale price contained in a purchase contract signed by both parties is not a starting point. It would be like the buyer calling 10 days later and saying "I had a higher offer and am reconsidering the deal. I'd like to raise the agreed price by $5,000." How would a buyer react to that? Would the phrase "pound sand" come to mind? Or perhaps some questioning of ethics?
You make valid points and I agree it shouldn't be used as a negotiating tool. However, The home inspection contingency is there so the buyer gets all the knowledge necessary to continue to execute the contract. No matter how well maintained your house is or how new it is. The inspector will find issues or tell you to look into something further. I hit the big stuff and leave all the little things to me.

Under no circumstances should the buyer be expected to know the HVAC is 20 years old. Nor that the roof is past it's useful life, etc.

The system is what the system is. The HVAC works that's why he should either ask for a 2nd opinion or a home warranty. My realtor covered my warranty and I was happy.

What would you do if you had an inspection that found the house had quest piping?(known to fail). Say well we agreed and continue on or rethink your options.

I've bought and sold 5 houses in the last 19 years and can tell you this would be improved dramatically if the seller did their own inspection prior to listing and made the report available to prospective buyers. They don't do this because they hope people won't ask or won't care and they want to hide anything that's not on the sellers disclosure. In fact many people outright lie on the disclosure.

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Re: Buying first home with old hvac

Post by deanbrew » Wed May 03, 2017 1:44 pm

Under no circumstances should the buyer be expected to know the HVAC is 20 years old. Nor that the roof is past it's useful life, etc.
If I were looking at a 20 year old home, I would fully expect the HVAC system, plumbing, wiring, windows, roof and pretty much everything else to be 20 years old unless the listing and/or marketing information said something else. If the home had newer components, I would expect that to have been mentioned as selling features.
The system is what the system is. The HVAC works that's why he should either ask for a 2nd opinion or a home warranty. My realtor covered my warranty and I was happy.
Although I think a home warranty is kind of BS, at least that makes some sense, and $500 for peace of mind is a lot different than thousands of dollars to replace a mechanical component that is working just fine.
What would you do if you had an inspection that found the house had quest piping?(known to fail). Say well we agreed and continue on or rethink your options.
I have never heard of quest pipes and had to look it up. There seems to be a lot of disagreement about it. But, for the sake of argument, let's say it is known to be inferior. I would say that it is an example of what a home inspection should legitimately be used for, and would present an avenue for renewed negotiations. That is far different than a 20 year old home having a 20 year old working furnace, IMO.
I've bought and sold 5 houses in the last 19 years and can tell you this would be improved dramatically if the seller did their own inspection prior to listing and made the report available to prospective buyers. They don't do this because they hope people won't ask or won't care and they want to hide anything that's not on the sellers disclosure. In fact many people outright lie on the disclosure.
I have a strong suspicion buyers wouldn't believe an inspection report obtained by a seller. That sounds to me like the real reason sellers don't do this, not that they are hiding things. Although, yes, I'm sure people, ahem, forget about stuff on the disclosure forms.
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Re: Buying first home with old hvac

Post by jharkin » Wed May 03, 2017 1:47 pm

deanbrew wrote:
The agreement is reached when both parties end their negotiations and sign a contract. Which happens before the buyer hires a home inspector. Negotiations are not supposed to continue after the purchase agreement (contract) is signed by both parties.
??? If the inspection happens after the contract and you cant renegotiate, then whats the point? You are basically buying blind.

This must vary regionally. In my state the inspection happens between the offer and P&S . Generally it works like this around here (MA):

Step One Buyer makes a formal written offer that includes a proposed price, breakdown of payment (initial deposit, p/s deposit, financing method) and one or more contingencies. Offer letter is accompanied by an earnest money deposit.
The usual contingencies are:
Mortgage
Inspection
Pest/insect inspection *
Lead paint inspection *
Radon test *

Step Two - Seller may counter and negotiation happens on terms of offer between agents.

Step three - Once both parties agree to terms, any agreed changes are written over offer letter and initialed by buyer, then the written offer is signed by seller. Seller can deposit earnest money.

Step 4 - There will usually be a 1-2 week period in the contingencies to do any inspections and secure mortgage approval. If any issues arise (subject to contingency terms), buyer can request renegotiation of offer terms.

Step 5 Once any issues have been negotiated a Purchase and Sale is drafted and signed by both parties. Usually a second larger deposit check from the buyer changes hands. Once that is done the negotiation is over and the clock starts on all the due diligence and preparations for closing day.

There is still a chance the deal can fall though at closing due to a problem arising in the title search or either party failing to live up to some term of the P&S. The difference is that after the P&S is signed any deposit money that changed hands is forfeit.

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Re: Buying first home with old hvac

Post by ResearchMed » Wed May 03, 2017 1:57 pm

dm200 wrote:
Pdxnative wrote:^^ good summary. I'm stunned by folks questioning the ethics of renogotiating after an inspection. The contingency is there so that the buyer can conduct due diligence. I have seen renegotiation after inspection to replace worn carpet, reside a house, and painting--with both parties satisfied. Surely those items were visible during walk through. But both parties understood that the offer price is a starting point (based on buyer usually seeing the home for 30 minutes or so, and writing a quick offer). Sellers are free to reject the inspection contingency. The reason they don't is because it benefits them as much as it benefits the buyer. (In very hot markets, sellers may be in position to reject inspection contingency and demand cash, but that is rare).
So, both buyer and seller can make a rational economic decision after the inspection and related renegotiation, but ethics don't really enter into it.
If the seller correctly states (or responds) that the HVAC is 20 years old and the buyers knows this, then I seriously question bringing up the same known fact in negotiating because the home inspection confirms the same thing.
Information like this isn't always known (or perhaps just "not disclosed").

If it's listed as "5 years old", we'd sure like to know if an experienced Inspector thought it was "much older than that" (e.g., perhaps 20 years or more...?)

In a 50 or 100+ year old house, one can't rely upon the "age of the house" to guestimate the age of systems.
The age of the house does not necessarily mean all the systems are as old as the house.

And the seller might *really* not know there are termites, and may have indicated there are not.
But there might be... even if seller answered to the best of his/her knowledge (and never mind a "forgetful" <or whatever> seller).

After the closing is one fine time to find out that the seller "erred" (knowingly or not).

A non-expert prospective buyer doesn't have a lot of time to deal with or even notice a variety of things (even IF he/she is qualified to do so, which is often *not* the case) during a walk-through when agents are there, any of whom typically just want "this thing to close as fast as possible"...

This IS what the Inspection is for, and that's why an "inspection contingency" is a routine clause, just as a "financing contingency" is.
Otherwise, "inspections" would only be used when the prospective buyer already knows there is a problem (in which case... what IS the inspection for then, anyway?).

Keep in mind, it can work both ways.
Someone who purchased a home with relatively new systems won't know the exact age (unless installation docs are provided, which isn't necessarily the case). So a seller may not be able to state "how new" some system is.
But an inspector might (or might not) be able to determine that a certain system is the "latest and greatest" and must have been installed relatively recently, etc. That is also very good to know, but not for "negotiating" purposes.

What jharkin wrote above is EXACTLY the way our house purchases and sales have worked, in more than one state.
(The amount of $$ to accompany the offer or P&S do seem to vary quite a bit from state to state, but not the general sequence of events.)

And a failure to obtain financing can derail things several weeks into the process, unless there is a shorter time limit for that, or the financing contingency is waived.

It would be different in an "AS IS" sale, such as an estate sale or foreclosure.
Then it is truly "buyer beware", because in some cases, NO inspection is allowed. One IS actually buying from external appearances.
(We simply cannot imagine that, but apparently some people do it.)

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Re: Buying first home with old hvac

Post by deanbrew » Wed May 03, 2017 1:59 pm

jharkin wrote: ??? If the inspection happens after the contract and you cant renegotiate, then whats the point? You are basically buying blind.

This must vary regionally. In my state the inspection happens between the offer and P&S . Generally it works like this around here (MA):

Step One Buyer makes a formal written offer that includes a proposed price, breakdown of payment (initial deposit, p/s deposit, financing method) and one or more contingencies. Offer letter is accompanied by an earnest money deposit.
The usual contingencies are:
Mortgage
Inspection
Pest/insect inspection *
Lead paint inspection *
Radon test *

Step Two - Seller may counter and negotiation happens on terms of offer between agents.

Step three - Once both parties agree to terms, any agreed changes are written over offer letter and initialed by buyer, then the written offer is signed by seller. Seller can deposit earnest money.

Step 4 - There will usually be a 1-2 week period in the contingencies to do any inspections and secure mortgage approval. If any issues arise (subject to contingency terms), buyer can request renegotiation of offer terms.

Step 5 Once any issues have been negotiated a Purchase and Sale is drafted and signed by both parties. Usually a second larger deposit check from the buyer changes hands. Once that is done the negotiation is over and the clock starts on all the due diligence and preparations for closing day.

There is still a chance the deal can fall though at closing due to a problem arising in the title search or either party failing to live up to some term of the P&S. The difference is that after the P&S is signed any deposit money that changed hands is forfeit.
Ah, that explains some of the confusion. Here in PA, all negotiations are completed and a sales contract is signed prior to anything else happening. The contract may or may not have contingencies for mortgage, inspection, etc.
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Re: Buying first home with old hvac

Post by petiejoe » Wed May 03, 2017 2:03 pm

clutchied wrote:
abs9986 wrote:We are in process of buying our first condo and after the inspection found out that all hvac equipment is original and 20 years old. Everything is working fine but I'm worried that this will be a big expense at some point soon. We already agreed on the purchase price.

Any recommendations on what we can do? Can we ask for credit or replacement or a warranty. This must happen a lot so I'm curious what others do.

this has been a significant point of frustration for me. We bought a house w/ 34 year old HVAC and it crapped at 39 years.

We bought another house w/ 25 year old HVAC and it's still going on 28 years... The old stuff will probably rust out or we'll pay more in warranty fees and it will die as soon as we discontinue.


What is there to do except ask for a concession of some sort. They've used the life of the asset should we not get a credit for the usage? I haven't figured out how to win this game yet and I don't like new construction.
You're buying a depreciating asset that has been in service for a number of years. What do you expect? If you want an unused asset, buy new instead of used. The depreciating nature of a house is typically hidden by inflation, the possibility of appreciation on the land the house is sitting on, and local ebbs and flows in the economy. If they had just installed a new HVAC, you can bet that they'd be advertising that in the listing and probably increase the price to account for it. There is no reason to ask for a concession unless there's a clear problem with it.

For the OP - if the worst thing your inspection found was that a 20 year old house had a 20 year old HVAC, it sounds like you're in great shape. Home ownership is definitely not free, plan on spending money fixing things that break down.

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Re: Buying first home with old hvac

Post by Easy Rhino » Wed May 03, 2017 2:05 pm

Just to share an anecdote when we were in escrow on a house...

We knew it had head and no air conditioning. However, during inspection we learned that the heater was ancient... like 50 years old, and that the ductwork was tin, which apparantly wouldn't work with an AC system. so that was a deterioration over our initial expectation (having to replace the ductwork as well).

We didn't end up buying there house because it ALSO needed foundation repair and a new roof, yikes.

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Re: Buying first home with old hvac

Post by iamlucky13 » Wed May 03, 2017 2:09 pm

dm200 wrote:
Pdxnative wrote:^^ good summary. I'm stunned by folks questioning the ethics of renogotiating after an inspection. The contingency is there so that the buyer can conduct due diligence. I have seen renegotiation after inspection to replace worn carpet, reside a house, and painting--with both parties satisfied. Surely those items were visible during walk through. But both parties understood that the offer price is a starting point (based on buyer usually seeing the home for 30 minutes or so, and writing a quick offer). Sellers are free to reject the inspection contingency. The reason they don't is because it benefits them as much as it benefits the buyer. (In very hot markets, sellers may be in position to reject inspection contingency and demand cash, but that is rare).
So, both buyer and seller can make a rational economic decision after the inspection and related renegotiation, but ethics don't really enter into it.
If the seller correctly states (or responds) that the HVAC is 20 years old and the buyers knows this, then I seriously question bringing up the same known fact in negotiating because the home inspection confirms the same thing.
I agree, and that's a case where, were I the seller, I'd be likely to turn down a revised offer. I would have the right to do so, but the buyer would have the right to request the change.

It doesn't sound like our thread starter was told the age of the system by the seller, however.

Of course, the offer is itself a contractual agreement to undertake good faith negotiations. If it appeared the buyer was raising issues that were actually disclosed simply in order to disrupt the negotiations, and especially if it appeared the time spent pending caused me to miss opportunities to take offers from other buyers, I would seriously consider claiming at least a portion of the earnest money if the buyer backed out.

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Re: Buying first home with old hvac

Post by dm200 » Wed May 03, 2017 2:09 pm

From both an experience and related experiences of others:

Last minute and unreasonable "surprises" or "demands" at settlement (or just prior) can have two common results:

1. The other party gives in to just get the deal done; or

2. The other part is so incensed and insulted that they walk away.

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Re: Buying first home with old hvac

Post by Watty » Wed May 03, 2017 2:45 pm

I'm not sure where the "checking the serial numbers" part came up but I just checked furnace and the manufacture date is clearly printed on the label near the serial number. It was even at eye level and clearly visible.

It is my understanding that having the manufacture date is required on many items since it indicates that the item met the existing requirements as if the the date that it was manufactured.

In the OP's case the condo was 20 years old and if the HVAC system was newer I would expect that it would be touted as a selling point in the real estate listing.

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Re: Buying first home with old hvac

Post by Chip » Wed May 03, 2017 3:02 pm

ResearchMed wrote:Telling a buyer or seller to "pound sand" (in any wording)?
If a seller "told us off" when we raised a concern (or seemed to accuse us of being "unethical" or even hinted at that), that would be such a huge red flag, we'd probably leave skid marks behind!
I will admit to a bit of hyperbole in the "pound sand" statement. After that was filtered through my agent and the buyer's agent it would be something like:

"The sellers have given careful consideration to your concerns, but believe that they have appropriately priced their home with full consideration given to the age of the structure and its components. Therefore they do not believe any sort of adjustment is necessary or appropriate."

:P

I have had an experience with an unethical buyer, and perhaps am a bit jaundiced by it.

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Re: Buying first home with old hvac

Post by wfrobinette » Thu May 04, 2017 9:35 am

deanbrew wrote:
Under no circumstances should the buyer be expected to know the HVAC is 20 years old. Nor that the roof is past it's useful life, etc.


I have a strong suspicion buyers wouldn't believe an inspection report obtained by a seller. That sounds to me like the real reason sellers don't do this, not that they are hiding things. Although, yes, I'm sure people, ahem, forget about stuff on the disclosure forms.
I wouldn't totally believe it either but I would give it some credence though. I would still have one done though. However, it would be a starting point to give the seller the knowledge of anything they should actually disclose or fix first. I'd have more faith in the seller out of the gate if they chose to take this path. It's wishful thinking I know.

I agree with your point about assuming everything is original in a house < 20 years old. I don't want to take the thread somewhere else. But in the OPs case, a first time buyer, his realtor should have educated the buyer to take all of this into the consideration at the time of writing the offer. I've only had 2 buyers agents do that out of the 5 or so that I have had. IMO, while your realtor is supposed to have your best interest in mind they may get clouded by the extra commission of a higher sales price. Sound familiar?

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Re: Buying first home with old hvac

Post by wfrobinette » Thu May 04, 2017 9:41 am

Chip wrote:
ResearchMed wrote:Telling a buyer or seller to "pound sand" (in any wording)?
If a seller "told us off" when we raised a concern (or seemed to accuse us of being "unethical" or even hinted at that), that would be such a huge red flag, we'd probably leave skid marks behind!
I will admit to a bit of hyperbole in the "pound sand" statement. After that was filtered through my agent and the buyer's agent it would be something like:

"The sellers have given careful consideration to your concerns, but believe that they have appropriately priced their home with full consideration given to the age of the structure and its components. Therefore they do not believe any sort of adjustment is necessary or appropriate."

:P

I have had an experience with an unethical buyer, and perhaps am a bit jaundiced by it.
I also had experience with an unethical seller that cost me $3k. A friend of mine has as well and it went into a 2 year legal battle that got him 1/2 of the $70k it cost him to remediate.

The only smooth real estate transactions I've done have been buying from the builder. They have a reputation to maintain so they make things right and you get a 1 year warranty on everything.

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Re: Buying first home with old hvac

Post by wfrobinette » Thu May 04, 2017 9:47 am

Easy Rhino wrote:Just to share an anecdote when we were in escrow on a house...

We knew it had head and no air conditioning. However, during inspection we learned that the heater was ancient... like 50 years old, and that the ductwork was tin, which apparantly wouldn't work with an AC system. so that was a deterioration over our initial expectation (having to replace the ductwork as well).

We didn't end up buying there house because it ALSO needed foundation repair and a new roof, yikes.
Feel you. Had one that was 20 years old. Every thing was original, plus Quest piping(at that time it was thought to be faulty), cracked heat exchanger, barely functioning AC, needed a new roof. Asked for credit for the roof and HVAC repairs. Told to pound sand. We walked.

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Re: Buying first home with old hvac

Post by Kosmo » Thu May 04, 2017 12:31 pm

I stepped away for a few days and it's interesting to come back and read the continuance of the conversation. It seems that I'm in the minority, although it's slim, that believes that something like the age of an HVAC system is not a negotiating point. It is an easily determinable fact to get the age of the units based on serial numbers or other tags (at least for units built in the last ~40 yrs) and does not require an inspector. The seller may not know that info, but it's still the buyer's responsibility to find it out as it materially factors into the offer. Sure, the buyer can ask for a credit (or a replacement!) due to HVAC being "older than expected". However, I'd say their expectations are way off. And it's a bit ridiculous to ask the seller to pay in whole or in part for a new item when the existing item is still functional and is not at imminent risk of failing. If I was the seller I'd tell them to pound sand.

Side comment: The above argument isn't necessarily true for things like a roof, which has a useful lifespan, but even a professional may not be able to accurately determine it's age.

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Re: Buying first home with old hvac

Post by ResearchMed » Thu May 04, 2017 12:55 pm

deanbrew wrote:
jharkin wrote: ??? If the inspection happens after the contract and you cant renegotiate, then whats the point? You are basically buying blind.

This must vary regionally. In my state the inspection happens between the offer and P&S . Generally it works like this around here (MA):

Step One Buyer makes a formal written offer that includes a proposed price, breakdown of payment (initial deposit, p/s deposit, financing method) and one or more contingencies. Offer letter is accompanied by an earnest money deposit.
The usual contingencies are:
Mortgage
Inspection
Pest/insect inspection *
Lead paint inspection *
Radon test *

Step Two - Seller may counter and negotiation happens on terms of offer between agents.

Step three - Once both parties agree to terms, any agreed changes are written over offer letter and initialed by buyer, then the written offer is signed by seller. Seller can deposit earnest money.

Step 4 - There will usually be a 1-2 week period in the contingencies to do any inspections and secure mortgage approval. If any issues arise (subject to contingency terms), buyer can request renegotiation of offer terms.

Step 5 Once any issues have been negotiated a Purchase and Sale is drafted and signed by both parties. Usually a second larger deposit check from the buyer changes hands. Once that is done the negotiation is over and the clock starts on all the due diligence and preparations for closing day.

There is still a chance the deal can fall though at closing due to a problem arising in the title search or either party failing to live up to some term of the P&S. The difference is that after the P&S is signed any deposit money that changed hands is forfeit.
Ah, that explains some of the confusion. Here in PA, all negotiations are completed and a sales contract is signed prior to anything else happening. The contract may or may not have contingencies for mortgage, inspection, etc.
What is the point/purpose in having any "contingencies for... inspection" in the "contract" IF "all negotiations are completed" already?
[emphasis added]

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Re: Buying first home with old hvac

Post by Wellfleet » Thu May 04, 2017 1:20 pm

I bought a 47 year old house and built assumptions for these expected needs into my offer price. Based on my tour during the open house, I assumed that it needed a new roof, boiler, some level of plumbing/electrical, paint and some other stuff.

So essentially my willingness to pay was the price plus the $50k I knew it needed. I then did not need to negotiate during the inspection even thought some family thought I should.

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Re: Buying first home with old hvac

Post by deanbrew » Thu May 04, 2017 1:27 pm

ResearchMed wrote: What is the point/purpose in having any "contingencies for... inspection" in the "contract" IF "all negotiations are completed" already?
[emphasis added]

RM
I should have said "all negotiations barring something unexpected and significant". I maintain that a working 20 year old furnace in a 20 year old condo is not unexpected, unusual or cause for renewed negotiations. Do you disagree?

While I'm sure many buyers use anything and everything contained in a home inspection as grounds for concessions and further negotiation, that doesn't make it ethical. Something major that was undisclosed or unknowable during a normal walk-through is different. And the seller is well within his right to say the price is not being changed, no matter what is discovered. But the problem is that the property has been removed from the market for some time.
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Re: Buying first home with old hvac

Post by 2015 » Thu May 04, 2017 8:51 pm

Doesn't it depend on the market, doesn't it? I'm in a scalding hot market, with realtors constantly chasing homeowners to sell. Anything sold in my neighborhood, regardless of condition, always has multiple offers, and backup offers. When I do sell, nothing will be up for negotiation. Supply and demand.

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Re: Buying first home with old hvac

Post by 2015 » Thu May 04, 2017 8:53 pm

Doesn't it depend on the market, doesn't it? I'm in a scalding hot market, with realtors constantly chasing homeowners to sell. Anything sold in my neighborhood, regardless of condition, always has multiple offers, and backup offers. This neighborhood's so trendy and desirable the sidewalks have attitude (which is exactly why I want to leave). When I do sell, nothing will be up for negotiation. Supply and Demand.

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Re: Buying first home with old hvac

Post by Watty » Thu May 04, 2017 9:38 pm

ResearchMed wrote:
deanbrew wrote:
jharkin wrote: ??? If the inspection happens after the contract and you cant renegotiate, then whats the point? You are basically buying blind.

This must vary regionally. In my state the inspection happens between the offer and P&S . Generally it works like this around here (MA):

Step One Buyer makes a formal written offer that includes a proposed price, breakdown of payment (initial deposit, p/s deposit, financing method) and one or more contingencies. Offer letter is accompanied by an earnest money deposit.
The usual contingencies are:
Mortgage
Inspection
Pest/insect inspection *
Lead paint inspection *
Radon test *

Step Two - Seller may counter and negotiation happens on terms of offer between agents.

Step three - Once both parties agree to terms, any agreed changes are written over offer letter and initialed by buyer, then the written offer is signed by seller. Seller can deposit earnest money.

Step 4 - There will usually be a 1-2 week period in the contingencies to do any inspections and secure mortgage approval. If any issues arise (subject to contingency terms), buyer can request renegotiation of offer terms.

Step 5 Once any issues have been negotiated a Purchase and Sale is drafted and signed by both parties. Usually a second larger deposit check from the buyer changes hands. Once that is done the negotiation is over and the clock starts on all the due diligence and preparations for closing day.

There is still a chance the deal can fall though at closing due to a problem arising in the title search or either party failing to live up to some term of the P&S. The difference is that after the P&S is signed any deposit money that changed hands is forfeit.
Ah, that explains some of the confusion. Here in PA, all negotiations are completed and a sales contract is signed prior to anything else happening. The contract may or may not have contingencies for mortgage, inspection, etc.
What is the point/purpose in having any "contingencies for... inspection" in the "contract" IF "all negotiations are completed" already?
[emphasis added]

RM
The contingencies control if the earnest money is returned or not if the buyer fails to follow through on the purchase.

Basically if none of the contingencies are triggered then you have a "done deal" based on the original offer that was accepted and there are no more negotiations. If something happens like there is a problem in the home inspection then you are back to square one and everything is open for negotiations gain.

In the OP's case if the age of the HVAC system was the only issue from the home inspection and they decided they didn't want the house then I doubt that would be able to get their earnest money back since that might not be considered a defect, but that would depend on the language in the original offer contract.

It has been a while since I bought a house but as I recall if a buyer wanted a price cut because of something that was found in the inspection then they would not just "ask" for it. As I recall the buyer had to basically invoke the contingency and reject the house in writing unless the seller agrees to some new terms. At that point the seller has the option of calling the whole deal off and selling the house to someone else. This is a bit different than just asking and still being sure that you can get the house if the seller does not agree to the new terms.

By asking for concessions like that the buyer is taking a risk that they will lose the house so the request for concessions should not be done lightly in a sellers market.

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Re: Buying first home with old hvac

Post by jharkin » Fri May 05, 2017 6:42 am

Watty wrote: It has been a while since I bought a house but as I recall if a buyer wanted a price cut because of something that was found in the inspection then they would not just "ask" for it. As I recall the buyer had to basically invoke the contingency and reject the house in writing unless the seller agrees to some new terms. At that point the seller has the option of calling the whole deal off and selling the house to someone else. This is a bit different than just asking and still being sure that you can get the house if the seller does not agree to the new terms.

By asking for concessions like that the buyer is taking a risk that they will lose the house so the request for concessions should not be done lightly in a sellers market.
I can elaborate on this, the last time I bought (2008) the inspection did find legitimate issues that I would not have known about from the open house. This is an old house, FYI.

Along with a number of minor things my inspection found these major issues:
- A structural beam in the basement damaged by insects (powder post beetles)
- Old 100amp electric service panel was overloaded (multiple breakers had doubled up circuits)
- A cast iron drain pipe in a crawlspace that was rusting through and leaking
- A tree right next to the overhead electrical service from the utility pole was rotten through the trunk to the point it could fall and take out the power.

We got estimates for remediation each and wrote a letter to the seller asking to have these issues fixed before closing. The seller responded with an offer to do the work to fix the plumbing and provide a $3k credit on the sales price to account for the structural and electric work. They declined to do anything for the tree. We agreed to this, the agents updated the offer terms and drew up the P&S.

I do not in any way see how this would be considered unethical. All of these are serious safety issues that are impossible for an inexperienced buyer to see on a 20 minute walkthough. Exactly the reason why we hire professional inspectors.

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Re: Buying first home with old hvac

Post by UALflyer » Fri May 05, 2017 8:04 am

Pajamas wrote:I would look at it differently. If the current HVAC system is 20 years old, a new one that is more energy efficient may very well pay for itself in just a few years.
There are a lot of good reasons to proactively replace a 20 year old HVAC system, but increased energy efficiency alone will absolutely not pay for itself in just a few years.

Head over to https://energy.gov/eere/femp/energy-and ... t-products This is an official government website, which contains various cost calculators. Select "Central Air Conditioners" and an Excel calculator will pop up, which will allow you to select your exact location, which is important because the number of heating and cooling hours is obviously location dependent, and will also allow you to run the numbers for various units that you're considering versus your current unit.

Suppose that the OP is in Dallas, Texas, so he will have to deal with high temperatures and a lot of cooling hours. He mentioned that he is buying a condo, so suppose that it's a 3 ton unit (this would probably mean a rather spacious condo). If the existing 20 year old unit is a 10 SEER one, which currently operates at 8 SEER, and he would be replacing it with a 14 SEER one (because of the increased cost, a new significantly higher SEER unit would only extend the breakeven period), at $0.113 kWh he is looking at the annual savings of only $352. The cost of the new unit is likely to be in the $4K range. So, even with these assumptions that are intentionally skewed towards a new unit, the new unit has an 11.5 year breakeven period. Most new units only have a 14 year lifespan, so around the time that he finally breaks even on the new unit, he'll be almost ready to replace it again.

From the OP's other thread, he seems to be in Maryland, which means that just changing the location to it, but keeping all the other assumptions the same, you get the annual savings of only $192. This would mean that the new unit would have a 21 year breakeven period.
Last edited by UALflyer on Thu Dec 14, 2017 8:23 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Buying first home with old hvac

Post by jabberwockOG » Fri May 05, 2017 8:26 am

clutchied wrote:
deanbrew wrote:
clutchied wrote: this has been a significant point of frustration for me. We bought a house w/ 34 year old HVAC and it crapped at 39 years.

We bought another house w/ 25 year old HVAC and it's still going on 28 years... The old stuff will probably rust out or we'll pay more in warranty fees and it will die as soon as we discontinue.


What is there to do except ask for a concession of some sort. They've used the life of the asset should we not get a credit for the usage? I haven't figured out how to win this game yet and I don't like new construction.
No, you shouldn't get a credit AFTER you negotiate the price you are willing to pay and the seller negotiates the price they are willing to sell. I just don't understand your line of thought. Are you prorating the use and wear of the roof, windows, carpets, faucets, etc, and expecting the seller to lower the price for each after an agreed sales price has been determined?

Frankly, it sounds like you DO like new construction, so you know that everything in the house is brand new with no wear or use.

the price is negotiated prior to inspections. If the inspection happens and things are at end of life like the roof or HVAC yes, I expect to be able to negotiate something on those.

I don't think that is unreasonable. You can't expect to command full price on a previously negotiated item to later find out things are at end of life. Maybe I'm crazy or maybe it's because I've had to replace HVAC a couple of years after buying a house that I don't see it that way... I always ask and they are welcome to say no.

After the home inspection you absolutely have the right to ask (and would be crazy not to ask) for either repair or replacement for any items identified as broken or very near end of life. Just be very specific in your list of asks so there is no question about exactly what is being requested. For instance in the case of a 20 yo HVAC you could ask for a 1 year home warranty (which in some parts of country is extremely common seller paid item) or what I would prefer is to request something like $2500 credit (1/2 theoretical replacement cost) towards HVAC replacement. Of course the seller has the right to agree to any or all of your requests, partially agree, or to decline one or all. For most contracts, if the seller declines any part of your post inspection list of requests you typically have the ability to negotiate from there or to void the contract via the inspection clause. A buyer asking for appropriate remediation, repair or credit for items of concern identified in a home inspection is a part of any modern real estate transaction.

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