From the first day we viewed our new house as potential home buyers, we noticed right away that there was something not right. Our home search began in the middle of summer, and here in Northern California our summer this year felt more like the depths of hell with temperatures in the 100’s on a regular basis. When we first viewed our house one very warm summer evening, we opened the door are were hit with a wall of extremely hot stale heat. . . .inside the house. We walked over to the thermostat to turn on the A/C and NOTHING! The air conditioner did not work at all. It was a balmy 94 degrees inside our house the first time we viewed it. It was actually cooler outside than it was inside that evening, LOL! From that moment until this week, our new home had not been less than 85 degrees inside anytime we saw it.
Let me tell you, it’s a bit hard to fully view a house and take in all of it’s potential when you have to keep going outside to get “fresh air” in the 100 degree weather because the inside air feels too hot to breath. We knew right from the get go that there was something wrong with at least the Air-Conditioner, and during our inspection period we had the HVAC inspected. In case you’re wondering what HVAC stands for, because I get asked that question all of the time by clients, HVAC stands for Heating, Ventilation and Air-Conditioning. We quickly learned from our inspector that our HVAC system was completely shot, not repairable, but needing to be completely replaced. The seller attempted to have the unit fixed, but during our repair negotiations we made it clear we would much rather take on the repair ourselves after the home was ours than have the seller “fix” it (with some price negotiations to compensate of course).
Now some of you might think that it would have been wiser to have the seller install a new working HVAC unit instead of taking on the hassle of doing it ourselves. Here’s where I’m going to let you in on a tip of mine as a Realtor. I often highly recommend taking on your own repairs rather than having a seller fix it for you (unless of course you don’t have the finances to fix it on your own). As I mentioned in my last post, the reason being is that a seller most times will do a fix that is least expensive to them. As a home buyer, you are the one who will be living with that repair. In this case, we wanted to make sure we had an HVAC unit that would be best for our family and the most energy efficient for our home. We got a bid on the potential new unit for our negotiations, but we also got a bid for an upgraded system, that is around 20% more energy efficient which came out to $1000 more.
We closed escrow last week and as I mentioned earlier, we had not been in the house when it was under 85 degrees, bleh. Until today!!!! Today I took a load of stuff to the new house and when I opened the door this time, instead of being hit in the face with hot air, the magic of HVAC welcomed me. . .cool air flowing from every vent in my house, aaaaah! It was heavenly as I’m sure you can tell from my picture below (Don’t mind my beautiful appearance. I call this look Renovation Chic as demonstrated by the day 4 messy hair, comfortable clothes and face au natural).
In case you’re wondering what this magic cool air making machine known as an HVAC system might run you if you needed to replace yours, well, you’d have to contact your local HVAC installer as the cost would be determined by the size of your home and your HVAC needs. You also should consider contacting more than one company as they often have different pricing. For us, we needed a dual unit, one that was both Heating and Air-Conditioning as we do not have a separate furnace. We also needed a unit that would service our roughly 2000 square foot home, but we also wanted to take into consideration the addition we plan to do to the house in the not so distant future, so we made sure to discuss that with our HVAC installer and they added some extra ductwork that will be tied into the new addition. All in all this project came in at a cool (see what I did there) $9300, for the brand spankin new HVAC unit and repairs done to the ducts under the house. We opted for the upgraded more energy efficient option which cost us $1000 over the basic model.
Let me tell you, money well spent now that I can be in my house for longer than 10 minutes and not have to go outside to get a breath of fresh air.