Protect Yourself from Heating Repair Costs after You Buy a House
At one time or another in your life, you will likely consider buying a new home. You may be moving from your parent’s home for the first time, getting married, or moving to another location due to work.
The new place can be a source of joy or it can become a nightmare. Moving into a new place is exciting, and buying a home is even more exciting. Unfortunately sometimes the reality is that after you move in all of this can quickly fall apart if your heater or other systems break down.
Buying a new place is expensive and most of the time we have very little money left over for things like heating repairs. Since a heating system can go down at any time, you could be faced with an expensive repair after you buy.
There are several basic things you can do to avoid this situation. The first and most important is to opt in your contract to have a professional inspection done.
The choice is always yours to get an inspection or not, and some people choose not to do it, thinking everything will be fine or trusting what the seller says. Some lenders also require that their own inspector come to evaluate the property prior to closing.
You always want to get an inspection done by someone with your interest in mind. Your offer to purchase contract can indicate that you get your earnest money back if the property fails inspection and you wish to back out of the deal.
Of course, you will only be getting a professional inspection if you’ve already decided the place is for you and have put in an offer with the seller (a contract offer to buy).
When you first look at a home for consideration, you can check a few things yourself including how well the home may be heated.
Check the insulation in the roof. You can contact the local code authorities to find out what insulation factor is required for the area. Most attics will have some sort of indoor access. You can bring a step ladder with you if the attic doesn’t have steps installed.
Yes, it is okay and as a buyer you have a right to personally inspect every inch of the property. You are allowed to carry in a ladder and take a peak in the attic. It is ill-advised to walk around up there though unless the attic is a finished out space. You could easily fall through the ceiling or fall and hurt yourself trying to access or leave the attic.
Pay attention to the layout of the house. The layout of your home can influence what you will be paying for heating the home. For example, in older homes or homes with high ceilings, the warm air may either accumulate too far up to do any good or just leak right out through the roof.
Check the location and direction of the vents. They may be installed in such a way that they face the wrong areas such as windows or right above a thermostat. This will cause a lot of problems for you or cost you a lot in energy bills.
The final tip in checking your heating in the new place is to turn on the heating unit and see if warm air is flowing out. Also listen for signs the motor may be going out. Your indoor or outdoor unit may make super loud sounds or odd sounds that will tell you the unit needs inspecting and probably needs to be repaired.
Of course, any time you do notice a problem and you still really want to buy that house, you can always put in the contract that the seller have the unit professionally repaired at their cost. But you won’t know to do that unless you’ve made some effort to find out if there may be any problems with the unit.