Factoring in the cost of new HVAC systems when buying homes

My best friend reached out to me last month, desperate for help in his unending home search.

I had the vaguest experience having bought a house in the same area around 12 years ago, but I had to stress with him that the market has likely changed. Property values naturally increased while the economy recovered the years following the recession, so a comparable house to what I own costs a bit more than what I paid for mine when I found it. There are of course other factors to consider as well. For one, chinese drywall was a problem over a decade ago with many homes being built with the cheaply sourced building material that off-gassed toxic hydrogen sulfide fumes. Many homes lurk around unsold that have hidden sources of serious concern like Chinese drywall. But, one particularly important factor to consider whenever you want to buy a new home is the age of the central heating and cooling system. Most central HVAC systems should be replaced after 10-15 years of use, depending on the components used and the homeowner’s preferences and habits. A good full central heating and cooling system for an average sized three bedroom house could run upwards to $7,000 or more if you include ductwork on the bill. This is why many sellers opt to upgrade their HVAC systems before listing their homes for sale, knowing the immediate increase in appeal from the buyer’s standpoint. I have stressed all of this with my friend and he decided to find a real estate agent to help him with his home search. They’re knowledgeable and work diligently to find you a home within budget that fits the criteria you’re looking for with the purchase. This includes factoring in a new central heating and cooling system.