Hi, My wife and I are looking for a home to buy. I just called to compare utility prices of the place we rent to the house we are looking at. The natural gas bill is 4 times higher in the house we are looking at. It is a 1970 house with an older looking furnace. It has gas hot water heater, cook stove, furnace, and oven. Our current place we rent has the same gas appliances. The windows in the house are newer because they are the double pane fold down windows. We have not made an offer yet so no inspection has been done to look at insulation.
Can anyone give me any suggestions or opinions? How much does the age of the furnace matter? How much would it cost to update insulation and furnace to potentially lower bills? Are there other causes that might make the natural gas bill higher?
A new furnace makes a world of difference in efficiency. My folks and in laws always had their furnace cranked up to at least 78 degrees 24/7 in their homes and they still had sweaters on. You can use the ** it would cost to install a new furnace when making the offer. Also the estate could also give a heating allowance/credit at close. Just don't let estate install the furnace; you do the choosing about models.
Posts: 3055 | Location: Michigan and sw Florida | Registered: May 16, 2007
Think you are comparing apples to oranges here with your 1400 sf vs. 2000 sf home ~ different people, customs, habits and such. And, yes, a newer more efficient furnace might help but, the bottom line in my opinion? This is a very minor detail compared to the over-all concept ~ price, location and desirability of the new house.
How does it compare to your parameters of what you want to buy?
I think we understand, it is just that there are so many variables as to how a home sits in a neighborhood lot too, plantings and differences in orientation (light, sun, North/south, west, east) for example. A garage on the north side can help insulate against north winter winds, large windows that allow South or east sunlight to warm a space? Plus all the reasons already listed in above posts.
That is a large increase in square footage too of course. Hopefully, not jutting out, winged additions?
If it does or does not have a basement and how that is insulated? If one were comparing exact homes, built next to each other it would be easier, pretty hard for anyone here to define the reasons why.
To be conservative, I would use the higher utility costs when considering this purchase, given that you've reviewed the utility bills. Did you check at least 2 years?
Older homes often have older systems and their (usually) lower prices reflects that fact, IMHO. Your home inspector will probably give you an estimate of the system's remaining useful life. In addition, if the attic's accessible, he can check the insulation. After reviewing his/her report, you can adjust your offer accordingly.
That said, this is only one of many factors that you should consider.