Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Buying a House - One Item to Definitely Check

I've written before about the air conditioning situation at our condo, but I just wanted to take a moment to encourage those who are thinking about buying a home to ensure that the air conditioning system is in good working order before you take the step of home-ownership (assuming, of course, that you live in an area that needs air conditioning).

As some background, the person who came and inspected our condo before we purchased it told us that the air from the air conditioner was not as cold as he thought it should be, but that the difference in temperature was almost certainly a low-cost fix (he believed it just needed to be cleaned). He also told us, with a straight face, that he thought there weren't any big issues with the air conditioner, even though he did not go up on the roof to check the unit out.

Nevertheless, in his actual written report (that we didn't read as thoroughly as we should have due to what he had told us in person -- obviously a big, dumb, stupid-headed error) he was a little more severe in his warning about the air conditioning unit, to the extent that the warranty company refuses to make a payment to replace it as, per the inspection, the air conditioning had a pre-existing problem.*

In retrospect, it was a huge mistake on our part to not insist that the inspector check out the roof unit before we signed the paperwork buying the condo. What can I say? In my my younger and more vulnerable years, I was, well, younger and more vulnerable.

The cost of manpower, a new air conditioner unit itself, and (allegedly) the rental of a crane is going to set my wife and I back a "cool" six or seven grand.

Now, I'm not going to say that we wouldn't have purchased the condo had we had a better idea about the issues with the a/c; I just wish that we could have used the knowledge to negotiate a better price with the bank.

For those of you reading, if you've purchased a house, did you make any mistakes like my wife and I did? What advice would you give to first-time homebuyers?

*Other pre-existing problems? The termites and water damage that the inspector missed. Maybe we just had a crummy inspector. I guess that's what we get for doing business with somebody who still has an email address.**
**In our defense, our realtor recommended the guy.

1 comment:

Charleen Larson said...

Sadly, your real estate agent almost certainly recommended the guy because the guy gave him a cut.

Don't feel bad. I picked an agent once because I liked his web page (hanging head in shame).