In the Market For A Nashville Home?
Zillow®, a leading real estate and rental marketplace website, predicted that Nashville would be the hottest real estate market in the country by 2017.
The top ranking was driven by the expected rise in home values and income growth, as well as the city’s low unemployment rate.
Zillow proved to be prescient; this past fall WKRN said, “There’s no question: Nashville’s real estate market is hot,” noting that Zillow reported Music City as having “the highest yearly home value appreciation of the 50 largest Metro areas in the United States from July 2016 to July 2017, a 13.1 percent increase.”
The trend figures to continue with Nashville expected to remain a Top 10 U.S. Real Estate market.
With demand for homes so high, there’s the risk that prospective buyers won’t always have the opportunity—or the patience—to carefully investigate and consider every aspect of a home before closing a deal.
But it’s definitely worth taking the time to evaluate a home’s HVAC system, as an aging, broken, or highly inefficient HVAC system can mean that big ticket expenses are just around the corner. Longtime renters often fail to take the so-called hidden cost of an HVAC system into consideration, as renters typically aren’t responsible for the maintenance and replacement of HVAC equipment.
What’s The Quality & Condition of the HVAC System?
First and foremost, find out what HVAC system(s) are installed in the home. Does the heat and air conditioning work? Assuming it does, consider the quality and condition of the system. If you see rust, water marks, or the system makes loud noises or emits strange smells those are red flags.
Ask the current owner for purchase and maintenance records. If complete records aren’t available, it’s worth remembering that some HVAC technicians leave behind dated job tickets, which tell the next technician what services have been performed. If you see frequent or big-ticket repairs, that’s a red flag.
Also, consider the age of the system. If a unit was installed more than 10 years ago, it may be time for a replacement, especially if regular maintenance has been lacking. To be sure, well-maintained units can last 15 years or longer. However, advances in technology and energy efficiency may warrant replacing an older system before it reaches the end of its natural lifespan.
Examine the Ductwork and Recent Energy Bills
In addition to examining HVAC unit(s), it’s advisable to take a look at any readily accessible ductwork. Look for gaps, loose connections, holes, rust, or condensation, all of which are red flags.
Also, assess the comfort level in each room in the house while the HVAC system is running. Take note if there are wide discrepancies in comfort, which can indicate problems with the duct system or other delivery issues.
Next, ask the owner for recent gas and electric bills to get a sense of the monthly heating and cooling costs. Not only can recent bills help you determine whether you can afford to heat/cool the home, they may reveal underlying issues like air leaks and inadequate insulation.
You’ll want to make sure the windows and doors to the home are properly sealed, for example. And if the existing system is too big or too small for the home, that’s something you’ll also want to know up front.
Last but not least, find out if the warranty on the HVAC system transfers to you as the new owner, and find out what the warranty covers. The existing owner should have this documentation.
Have a Certified HVAC Technician Inspect the Unit
If you’re planning to buy a house in the Nashville metropolitan area and you have questions or concerns about the home’s HVAC system, don’t hesitate to contact us online or give us a call at (615) 469-5965.
You should consider hiring a certified HVAC technician to inspect the unit, as it could save you a significant amount of money.
It should probably go without saying, but your realtor and your home inspector are your best and most important allies in your search for a new home, and the above tips should not be relied on in place of the recommendations of a certified HVAC technician.