HVAC advice for my mother in law...

jharkin Posted By jharkin, Aug 31, 2013 at 9:23 PM

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  1. jharkin

    jharkin
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    Need some advice from the HVAC pros....

    My mother in law is retiring this year and planning to sell her condo to move closer to us and spend more time with her grandkids. She lives on the MA/NH line (MA side).

    Her condo was built in 88 as I understand and has all the original mechanicals, which I think where pretty high end at the time. Everything works fine and she hasn't had any service problems. The thing is, her realtor is telling her to replace it all because "buyers will want new". Personally I think its a load of you know what, but that's the story. He is telling her she wont get a decent price until its all updated.

    She has been calling local HVAC people to get opinions. First guy that showed up said "its not up to code" and wants to replace everything (heat, DHW, AC) to the tune of roughly $15,000

    Second guy to return her call asked the age of the equipment and before even taking a look said "replace it all because its old"


    What the ????


    The equipment in question is:

    * A Lennox Pulse gas-fired hot air furnace, C. 1988.
    I cant get up there to look at it in person but as I remember this is already a very high efficency unit of around 96 AFUE or so. Its direct vented through PVC just like the modern high eff. units.

    * A Bradford White Jetglas TTW2 gas fired water heater

    * A Lennox central air system, nameplate says HS18-311-7P


    Once again, all of this equipment works perfectly right now. She is being told to replace it both by the realtor and HVAC contractor just because its "old".

    Thoughts? Am I wrong in thinking its silly to replace this just due to age? Is the $15k estimate crazy or in the ballpark? (put in perspective, the condo is only valued about 200k, and she has already sunk over $10k into paint, flooring and appliances to get it 'sellable')




    I asked her to send me some pictures, not sure if you can make out much useful but here goes.




    2013-08-30 14.37.26.jpg 2013-08-30 14.39.27.jpg 2013-08-30 14.35.56.jpg 2013-08-30 14.36.21.jpg
     
  2. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz
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    Bullshit to all of them!
    I sold my mid 70's townhouse with the appliances. The only real new thing was the kitchen stove/oven.
    The oil furnace was not original, but was not newer either and was there when I bought the place in 1989.
    The central A/C was original, and still working from mid 70's till the year I sold the house (2006).
    Worst case scenario, if the buyers ask, she can supply a home warranty that covers all appliances and was about $400.00 to $450.00 back when I sold my place.
    Shes selling the house, the new owners can replace whatever they want, after the buy the place.
    Tell the realtor fine on replacing everything, if it comes out of his commission.
    The HVAC guys see dollar signs, and will want to replace it all.
     
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  3. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart
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    Yeah that is a crock. If real estate peddlers have their way you would rebuild the whole house. Tell the joker that you will just put a $5,000 new appliance allowance in the sale deal to let the buyer get what they prefer and watch she/he/it choke on the their Latte. Lowers the commission.
     
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  4. flhpi

    flhpi
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    I personally would rather buy a house and pick what I want as far as furnace, water heater and AC. Not what someone else thought I should have in my new house.
    Your mother in law might want to remind her realtor that they work for her and she is the boss that makes the final decisions.

    Yep, what BB said.
     
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  5. gzecc

    gzecc
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    Thats funny. Price the unit accordingly, I'm sure there are comps, let the buyers make offers.
     
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  6. billb3

    billb3
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    When we sold my grandmother's place we ran into buyers wanting allowances for everything.
    We had one or two we just had to tell to go look at new places because this wasn't one.
    Allowances for everything - even for a couple big trees that shaded the place that they wanted money to have cut down ( but of course having them cut down before the sale was not an option ) just nickle and diming - the trees all still stand to this day.
    Raise the selling price 15K and offer 10K for appliance age.
     
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  7. jharkin

    jharkin
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    Thanks guys, that confirms what I was thinking.. BB I think you read my mind, that was my first though as well.

    There is some evidence of a leak that we know needs to be addressed, she thinks its the water heater but we know that her ac evaporator condensate drain has plugged before. I'm thinking to advise her to just fix that, put it on market as-is and offer a concession if a buyer comes back with a bad inspection report. I also suggested to her to look at the waranttee options, good idea.
     
  8. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart
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    Important to start with the lower allowance. Anybody is going to try to negotiate it up from whatever amount you start with. Determine now what your top amount you will negotiate will be.
     
  9. gzecc

    gzecc
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    I wouldn't draw attention to the appliances. Who knows what buyers will focus on. Don't give them suggestions.
     
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  10. Gary_602z

    Gary_602z
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    For 200.00 the same companies that wanted to sell you new stuff would probably give you a letter saying everything was working good at time of inspection!;)

    Gary
     
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  11. begreen

    begreen
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    At 25 years old the equipment is coming to the end of service life. The condenser in the furnace should be closely examined for signs of decay. Relays,, blower motors, ignitor etc. are probably going to go soon too.. After having a h/w heater leak, I never push a hot water heater over 15 years now. It is due for replacement. That said, if she wants a quick sale, just price it accordingly or follow BB's suggestion.
     
  12. maverick06

    maverick06
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    sell everything as is. A buyer usually doesnt want the previous owner to replace it anyways, because then they have no ability to chose what to get. sell it with nothing more than fresh paint on the walls. Just plan for what youu want to do when the home inspector finds tons of stuff. fix/negotiate/leave it as is... he will find stuff, jsut plan for what they say.

    definitely dont replace working equipment!
     
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  13. Retired Guy

    Retired Guy
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    I had a Lennox Pulse. That unit is way too old to be safe!. At a minimum she should have the heat exchanger (actually a sealed combustion chamber) pressure tested. Most will fail the test. No new parts are available. Lennox may still have a rebate program toward the purchase of a new system.
     
  14. Dix

    Dix
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    Heat exchangers should be inspected during an annual service inspection. If they look iffy, they should be tested for leaks, wearing out, etc.

    Most manufacturers worth their salt have an extended warranty period covering this and other parts. Mileage may vary;)
     
  15. begreen

    begreen
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    The Pulse is a condensing furnace. It is not an ordinary heat exchanger and not as easy to inspect. Acid corrosion will eventunally corrode the internal exchanger. It's just a matter of time. 25 years is the expected service life.
     
  16. jharkin

    jharkin
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    Yeah this is interesting, I did some Google research on the pulse and the consensus seems to be that it was a radical design that didn't work. Interesting that this one hasn't died yet considering.... Though I have no idea what condition its in and no idea if my MIL actually has yearly service calls done.

    Thanks for all the feedback, as I really know nothing of furnaces... Every place I've lived in has been either forced hot water or steam, heck our last rental still had a functional circa 1950 american radiator boiler and the boiler service guys see older than that around here ( coal conversions).. So I never realized these things could die in just 20 years ;)

    So bottom line is the pulse probably has to go. The water tank I think should go IF its really leaking, but I'd guess the AC might be OK. Question is does she replace or sell the condo as is and let the buyer replace as they wish. I think the latter is the better idea, and as a buyer I'd want to pick my own rather than get stuck with cheap replacement done in a rush to sell.
     
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  17. maverick06

    maverick06
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    my suggestion:
    1) sell it "as-is" dont bother with the hassle
    OR
    2) wait, a buyer will have a home inspection, the home inspector might flag it, assuming he does, then figure out if you will replace it, or you can credit the buyer the money.

    I think that option 2 is WAY better than doing it before hand. selling it as-is might be a better option... but thats your call.
     
  18. fbelec

    fbelec
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    when i bought my current house it had a boiler that was leaking small amounts around a tankless coil. looked like white hair. when i said something to the home owner she said she was waiting for someone to say something and if they did she had a plan. i said it has to go so she said i'll get a price from my plummer and i'll give you a check for half. that worked well. instead of getting a 82% gas boiler i bought a 90% and all the parts for under 3000.00 which she gave me.

    i'd say wait til it's brought up in the inspection. don't and instruct the realtor not to open their mouth. like it was earlier in the posting don't give them any idea's
     
  19. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz
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    Hogz dictionary:
    Realtor: Just another Vulture, circling the cookie jar....
    Also see:
    Leech
    Bottom feeder
    Maggot
    Commision Commy
    Two faced
    Swindler
    Chisler
    Scum of the earth

    Also see under lawyer....

    Sorry in advance to any realtor burners on here. Well kinda...
     
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  20. Frozen Canuck

    Frozen Canuck
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    Just a word of caution on that if your state has failure to disclose laws. Also if your state does have that you have just counseled someone else in the comital of a crime. Just a heads up.
     
  21. begreen

    begreen
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    If the equipment is all in good working order is there a failure to disclose?
     
  22. Frozen Canuck

    Frozen Canuck
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    Failure to disclose laws usually refer to what is "known" by the parties involved. In this case the sellers. My caution was in response to the comment above it. "Don't" (as in open your mouth) "& instruct the realtor not to open their mouth". That would be a very tough one to defend in court.

    Folks often forget that many of their neighbours also know about the "issues" a home may have & as you are the one moving out they wont likely feel indebted to you, some may feel you stiffed the buyer by not disclosing, others may simply fear the wrath of a judge & tell the truth when compelled to do so in court.

    FWIW I always advise buyers to get letters of disclosure from sellers & in this market a letter of disclosure should be a condition of sale, as well as a satisfactory home inspection.

    Buyers market = buyers rules, in 2005 the shoe was on the other foot.



    Jeremy:

    Leave the appliances as is & simply acknowledge their condition. Let the buyers decide what is important to them & make their offer to purchase accordingly. Use that fact as a selling point in the letter of disclosure (if you go that route). Rather than installing appliances that you may not like we have decided to let you decide what you want in your new home & we look forward to working with you on that. Or something along those lines.

    I think you are a good enough wordsmith that turning the visual negative of appliances that may have seen better days into a positive with some carefully chosen words that all fit neatly on a portion of a page won't be to challenging.

    Think of it as an opportunity rather than an obstacle & you are likely 95% done.
     
  23. fbelec

    fbelec
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    you forgot two faced
     
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  24. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz
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    Noted, and revised, thank you
     
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  25. begreen

    begreen
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    The only knowledge she has at this point is that all are in good working order. There is no foreknowledge of defects and there is no way of knowing whether a failure will occur in one day or 10 years.
     
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