Buying A Home

Discussion in 'The Thunderdome' started by JudgmentVol, Jun 10, 2019.

  1. JudgmentVol

    JudgmentVol Member

    So I'm looking to buy a condo and this particular condo we've zeroed in on has HVAC issues to the point where we should plan to replace it within 3 years if we were to purchase. The seller, instead of replacing it, opted to purchase a warranty for the HVAC unit good for a year as of April or May with a $75 deductible and ~$500 extension yearly (I'm hazy on the other specific details for parts/labor). It's a building built in '03, so I'm curious if replacing an HVAC unit generally consists of the actual unit or if the airway ducts might be included as well.

    If anyone has any expertise or prior experience with HVAC units, any insight would be appreciated. And for those of you who want to share you generalized home-buying advice of do/don'ts/major [uck fay] ups or let me know about things I don't know, I'd really appreciate it so that I can come back in 2 years and kick myself for not listening.
  2. Volst53

    Volst53 Super Moderator

    Should just be the unit that will need replaced, unless the duct work has been damaged.

    I’d beat them up for the price of a new one if the market will allow it.
    utvol0427 likes this.
  3. The Dooz

    The Dooz Super Moderator

    Got a similar aged unit myself. We decided to ride it out with the home warranty, and so far I’m coming out on top, as I’ve paid less to maintain my home warranty than the cost of a new one. Though at some point it may be easier to buy a new one.

    Obviously a new system will be far more efficient, so your bill will be lower each month, and of course you won’t have anything to worry about. But you’ll have had to pay a sum for that comfort.

    Home warranty over replacing the system is pretty standard. In fact, you should get the seller to include one no matter what, and any realtor (yours, that works for you) at all who knows what they’re doing will negotiate that for you.
  4. Tenacious D

    Tenacious D The law is of supreme importance, or no importance

    I bought a used truck app. 2 years ago. I never buy extended warranties because they’re shown to be a waste of money. However, when I expressed concern that the truck had had engine work done, the dealer threw one in and I accepted it. It was a “bumper to bumper” anything but wiper blades, gas, oil and brake pads sort of thing. Well, I use it, for anything. But each time, it’s a $100 deductible, and there’s usually a day or so delay while they see if the insurance company will pay it or not. Most times they have, but I’m also aware that they may not, too. So, even with an “extended warranty” - I’d want to look at the fine print, and make sure it transfers to you, too.

    An AC unit is expensive, and I’d make him at least give me the cost off the price. If he wants to worry about using an extended warranty to keep his family warm / cool, that’s perfectly ok - but let him keep it, and the house, too. The first time it goes out and you’re sweltering / freezing while waiting on HVAC repair, you’ll regret not insisting on it.

    If you find a house / condo you like, visit it at different times of the day and night, just to see what it’s like. Do you have noisy neighbors? Does traffic back up in the morning? Are there a lot of strange people hanging around late at night? What’s the commute to work like from there? If I leave my house at 5am, it takes me 15 minute s to work, tops. If I leave after 7am, you can probably forget being anywhere before 8am.

    Go to the police department and ask them how many calls they’ve gotten to that particular condo, and the entire complex, say in the last year or so, and for what. Pull up crime stats for the area.

    Do you see something pesky, but think you’ll get used to it? You won’t, and it’ll pester the shit out of you until you fix / change it.

    Get a copy of your HOA rules, and read them thoroughly, beforehand. Consider that they’ll all be rigidly enforced, and again, that none of them will ever be enforced - and consider if you’d still like it then. What are the fees, and how steady have they been for five years? Are there any big capital projects on the HOA’s radar? If so, what are they - and how much will your share of it it likely cost?

    How many units are for sale right now? How many in the last year or so? What’s the turnover like, in general? Do the HOA rules prohibit renting units? If not, I guarantee that some do. If you really want to go nuts, look up property records for that unit / complex, find someone who recently sold and moved out, look’em up and ask why. They’ll be forthright and honest with you, having gotten out, and where the seller or other current residents may not be.

    Basic shit that I’m sure you’ve already thought of.
    NYYVol and reVOLt like this.
  5. kmf600

    kmf600 Energy vampire

    A new A/C in south Florida costs about 4,000 coconuts, for a 4 ton unit. Obviously we don't use the heater much, so I have no idea how much extra that costs. But I'm a ride or die guy. I'd ride that a/c until the wheels fall off.
  6. fl0at_

    fl0at_ Humorless, asinine, joyless pr*ck

    Several years ago I bought a house that had an old AC unit.

    And one day in July it stopped blowing cold. So our home warranty services sent out their top folks, who promptly put $500 worth of coolant in (which isn't covered by warranty).

    The AC blew cold. For a day. Then all the coolant leaked out of the hole in the plenum. Which probably should have been caught by me, since coolant is in a closed system, and shouldn't suddenly go to zero.

    So I have two months left of paying for the replacement, which we did not use American Home Shield or whatever for, because those guys suck. Took them two attempts to fix a timer on a dryer, before I finally said enough, we'll just make do without the damn thing.

    Everyone buys a home warranty when selling a house. They all suck.
    utvol0427 likes this.
  7. Ssmiff

    Ssmiff More fragile than Mr. Glass

    Bought my first home and couldnt wait to get a pool table for my bonus room and have people over.
    Found out the hard way it had 1 tiny vent and felt like 100 degrees for most of the year.
    Personally i'd just ask them to buy a new one. Have a friend who just moved and sounded like he had a similar plan as far as extending warranties, but he ended up buying a new one in the first month after moving in. Don't know the exact details.
  8. fl0at_

    fl0at_ Humorless, asinine, joyless pr*ck

    Warranty folks are contracted, and usually have to front parts out of pocket.

    Which means they show up with a roll of duct tape and a can fix attitude.

    And if it takes two weeks, and 6 trips, that sucks that it is 104 in your bedroom.
  9. TennTradition

    TennTradition Super Moderator

    I would be wary of the home warranty. There seem to be a lot of exceptions and I wouldn’t be confident in actually having any issues truly resolved.
  10. justingroves

    justingroves supermod

    Screw a home warranty, they suck.

    You don't have to replace any duct work, just the unit itself.
    kmf600 likes this.
  11. Indy

    Indy Irrational and hormonal

    The Indy way.
  12. lumberjack4

    lumberjack4 Chieftain

    My biggest advise is to walk the attic and crawl space before even considering dropping an offer.
  13. kmf600

    kmf600 Energy vampire

    Solid advice. Also, find a good home inspection guy. They can save your ass
  14. Tenacious D

    Tenacious D The law is of supreme importance, or no importance

    This is a beautiful comment in a rare, and undoubtedly fleeting, moment of self-aware clarity.
    justingroves likes this.
  15. fl0at_

    fl0at_ Humorless, asinine, joyless pr*ck

    Take a look, as much as your knowledge allows, at the electrical. I'm not saying pull the dead front off and look in the panel, but if an outlet or a switch looks replaced, take the cover off and just visually inspect with a flashlight.

    Make sure the box doesn't look too stuffed, and that grounded equipment has a ground attached. If they are side wired, and don't have nice round loops under the screws, or there is electrical tape everywhere, it was probably non licensed work.

    My house, where they had "updated," had drywall screws used to mount switches and receptacles to the boxes. And they had simply cut the equipment ground off in a few places, mostly switches, but one receptacle.

    If you don't know anything about electrical, ask your inspector to pull a few covers if he sees replaced switches or receptacles. Inspectors generally don't have a lot of electrical training, but some do.
  16. warhammer

    warhammer Chieftain

    I'll throw in my opinion that home warranties are basically like that guarantee on the box of brake pads Tommy Callahan waxed poetically about in Tommy Boy. Only, they are for houses. We had one. It was totally worthless. We had multiple problems with built in appliances and the HVAC. It covered literally none of the problems for reasons I don't recall at this point.
    kmf600 likes this.
  17. droski

    droski Super Moderator

    a lot of times they'll claim these were issues before you bought the house.
  18. warhammer

    warhammer Chieftain

    Basically that was it with the appliances. It was probably the same with the HVAC. It's been close to 20 years now.
  19. 2Maggitt2Quit

    2Maggitt2Quit Contributor

    Don't know about your area/situation specifically, but it's been a brutal sellers' market in Memphis for starter home type properties.

    Might have to just suck it up, but I'm hoping you have some leverage to negotiate.
  20. Ssmiff

    Ssmiff More fragile than Mr. Glass

    I grew up on Macinness off Ridgeway in Memphis. My mom still lives there and won't move. The Balmoral area was beat down for awhile, but even prices around her have gone up quite a bit.

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