Why replace an AC that isn’t broken?


Dear David,

My 20-year-old furnace has broken down a few times. We’re in the process of getting quotes to replace it. Some companies are telling us we should replace our air conditioner at the same time, since it’s about the same age. We’re probably going to sell our house soon, is this a worthwhile investment?  – CLIMATE CRISIS

DEAR CLIMATE: Replacing an expensive fixture that’s still working might feel counterintuitive, but in this case, it’s worth considering. When clients of mine are preparing to sell, I typically have them create a property fact sheet to answer common questions: how old is the roof? Have the windows been updated? How many amps is the electrical service? How old is the furnace and AC? I use this information  to formulate a “brag book” for the house. I don’t expect sellers to replace all major items, but I am trying to gauge what might catch a buyer’s attention. I can brag about a five-year-old roof, but a 15-year-old roof won’t do much to sway their decision.

All four tires on your car will typically all wear out at about the same time. This is not the case for your furnace and AC, even though they are about the same age. Furnace issues tend to bring about a greater sense of urgency; a frigid winter night with no heat is dangerous, while a hot day with no AC is probably just uncomfortable. If you’re thinking of selling in the next few years and your furnace and AC are at (or close to) the end of their economic lives, you may want to consider replacing both. It’s not critical, but buyers tend to look at the bottom line, and homeowners may find it more economical to do both units at the same time, rather than replacing the AC separately when it fails.

PRO TIP: Do your homework. Have a trusted HVAC company give you quotes for replacing the furnace and AC at the same time, and separately.

Dear David,

We love to hot tub and just purchased a high-end unit for $20,000. We’ll be downsizing in a few years. Do you think we’ll be able to recoup the value of the tub if we include it in the sale of our home? – STEAMED

Hot tubs are like asparagus: you either love them, or you don’t. A very small percentage of homes sell with hot tubs, which tells you something about how the public views them in a value proposition. A hot tub probably won’t deter the average person from buying a home, but unless the buyer is a hot tub aficionado, they may not appreciate the value of the tub or be willing to pay retail for it.

PRO TIP: I always play the long game. If you asked for my advice before you bought the hot tub, I would have suggested you be prepared to take it with you to your next property. If you enjoy hot tubbing today, chances are you will in your next home as well. Knowing you likely won’t get the value back may alter your buying decision. #Advice #AskDavid #TheNegotiator

David is a top-selling Broker in Kitchener-Waterloo Region. He works personally with you when selling or buying your home. Call or text today for your free home evaluation! 519-577-1212.