In a recent post on the Bel Red blog, we discussed the fact that more and more, homebuyers are requesting that a full home performance assessment be done before a deal is made. This is a trend that underlines the importance of knowing what to expect when it comes to energy issues, efficiency upgrade potential, and more. While this step is not necessarily required to sign on the dotted line for your new home, we agree that it can be a very valuable step for home purchasers.
Making an investment as large as buying a home understandably makes people examine most aspects of the deal with great scrutiny. Buying a home is likely the largest financial decision people go through in their lifetimes. That said, it’s sometimes easy to let the excitement of buying a new home get in the way of making sure every base is covered when it comes to buyer protection and knowing what they are getting when making the purchase.
While the style, size, location, and more are typically the items that initially make us fall in love with a house, other aspects should not be forgotten. How much should I expect in monthly energy costs during the winter and summer? How old and efficient is the HVAC system in the home? When was the last time the windows were replaced? These home performance questions (plus many more) are important to ask when you’re looking at a home. Having this knowledge will also potentially give you more buying power during the process as well.
The initial investment on a home can obviously be huge, but the hidden follow up costs on repairs, upgrades or new installations to replace old equipment can be “budget breakers” just the same. So how do you protect yourself and get all the answers you need when it comes to ensuring your potential new home is going to be a sound energy purchase? Simple – have a home energy audit done before you buy. There are many things that can be uncovered by having a comprehensive home energy audit completed, including:
- Air leaks in your heating system, windows or doors
- Problems not seen to the naked eye (using Infrared Thermal diagnostics)
- Insufficient or problematic insulation
- Design flaws or obstructions in ductwork
- Gas leaks or other safety issues within the home’s equipment
- Multiple miscellaneous problems with the home’s energy quality and efficiency
Having a full home energy audit done professionally can be a small price to pay to ensure you are maximizing the value of your large investment. If problems are uncovered, you have new buying power to negotiate fixes into the contract or drop the purchase price to cover them. This can save you a lot of money right away. It can also point out problems that should be addressed that, when taken care of, can increase the value of your home immensely over time. Having the home energy audit can also help you make decisions and avoid some unnecessary “upgrade” purchases and improvements.
All in all, having the peace of mind of knowing you are making a sound financial and emotional investment in your new home is certainly reason enough to have a comprehensive home energy audit completed before purchase. Knowing you are going to be walking into a comfortable and efficient new house will go a long way towards a happy new home. If you’re in the home buying process, please feel free to reach out to Bel Red. We’d be happy to help you through the home energy audit process to make sure you’ll be a fully informed buyer.