Author Topic: Hated condo needs HVAC. What to do?  (Read 1063 times)

FIfidelis

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Hated condo needs HVAC. What to do?
« on: January 24, 2020, 02:52:05 PM »
For many reasons (onerous mortgage, onerous HOA, small bathroom, bad parking, thin walls with neighboring unit, preference for renting) I hate the condo I purchased last summer. It was a mistake made without proper due diligence.
 
Iíve considered selling the condo this year at a loss, and have considered renting it out as well. The impediment is that it needs a new HVAC (wall units and baseboards do not suffice), which Iíve received estimates around 13k. This is for 4k worth of materials at most for a split systemÖ truly egregious. I canít do the work myself as a licensed and certified contractor is required per HOA.
 
I may be able to sell the condo without the new HVAC, but I canít get away with renting it as is. Whatís the best way to proceed? (If I sell should I sell myself, use an agent, or redfin?)

Condo: 320k value/46k equity
Net Monthly Income (post tax, max 401k & HSA): $3,800
Mortgage: $1,950
Checking: 17k
Tax Managed Investments (Backup Emergency fund source): ~200k

terran

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Re: Hated condo needs HVAC. What to do?
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2020, 04:14:13 PM »
Why do you think you'll enjoy renting it if you don't enjoy living in it? Lots of the issues will remain and others will result in complaints from tenants. I would suggest you simply sell it an move on, lesson learned. As far as the HVAC, talk to a real estate agent and get them to tell you what they'd list it for. They'll tell you to fix the HVAC because that will make their job easier, but try to nail them down on how much more they'll list it for if you fix compared to not fixing. If it's close I would tend towards not fixing so you can avoid the hassle and the risk that they're inflating the difference.

Omy

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Re: Hated condo needs HVAC. What to do?
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2020, 06:18:47 PM »
Sell it - unless the numbers work for renting it out, but I'm guessing they won't.  $13k seems really high. Is the HVAC repairable?

rws

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Re: Hated condo needs HVAC. What to do?
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2020, 08:14:40 PM »
13k does seem high. Is there no existing ductwork?

Where is the condo located?


Mr. Green

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Re: Hated condo needs HVAC. What to do?
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2020, 08:21:07 PM »
How is it the HOA gets any insight into what you do inside the house? I don't understand how they would go about enforcing this.

FIfidelis

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Re: Hated condo needs HVAC. What to do?
« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2020, 11:47:22 AM »
13k does seem high. Is there no existing ductwork?

Where is the condo located?

No existing ductwork. The base work is 8-9k for a split system, the extra is for removing wall units, masonry work to patch the holes left by the wall units, snow bird installation, etc.

This is in the DMV area.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2020, 11:49:48 AM by FIfidelis »

FIfidelis

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Re: Hated condo needs HVAC. What to do?
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2020, 11:48:50 AM »
How is it the HOA gets any insight into what you do inside the house? I don't understand how they would go about enforcing this.

They dictate where the outside condenser is installed and where I can go through walls.

Roadrunner53

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Re: Hated condo needs HVAC. What to do?
« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2020, 11:58:30 AM »
Sell the unit 'as is'.

Does the ac work at all? If you can get someone to come in and fix a few little things to make it limp along then I would do that. We sold my Mom's home that was built around 1932. The heating system was old and there were a few plumbing issues. The roof was in need of replacement in a year or two. We sold it 'as is' and bought a home warranty for one year. If anything went wrong with the plumbing, heating system, appliances and some other stuff, the warranty would kick in and would be taken care of for like a $200 fee. The realtor made sure she set up the home warranty brochure in the kitchen. It gives the buyer confidence that even if something goes wrong, they are protected.

Why can't you replace the wall units with more wall units? Might be a lot cheaper way to go.

MissNancyPryor

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Re: Hated condo needs HVAC. What to do?
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2020, 11:58:46 AM »
I would sell it without the upgrade in the shoulder seasons part of the year.  You really have no obligation to leave it better than you found it and it will be priced accordingly (you won't get the money out of the upgrade with an increased price).

You bought the home without the better HVAC and as long as you are not trying to sell it as if it included that then you are being ethical. 

ETA to change to seasonally appropriate.  No, you are not ethically required to upgrade this as long as you are not touting it as being something it is not.  You bought it this way and as long as it works that is what is required on the disclosures.  A home inspector is not required to judge the efficacy of anything, (maybe the freezer didn't keep things cold enough, they won't know).  They can only judge what is readily observable and you won't get anywhere there.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2020, 12:22:01 PM by MissNancyPryor »

FIfidelis

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Re: Hated condo needs HVAC. What to do?
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2020, 12:13:08 PM »
Sell the unit 'as is'.

Does the ac work at all? If you can get someone to come in and fix a few little things to make it limp along then I would do that. We sold my Mom's home that was built around 1932. The heating system was old and there were a few plumbing issues. The roof was in need of replacement in a year or two. We sold it 'as is' and bought a home warranty for one year. If anything went wrong with the plumbing, heating system, appliances and some other stuff, the warranty would kick in and would be taken care of for like a $200 fee. The realtor made sure she set up the home warranty brochure in the kitchen. It gives the buyer confidence that even if something goes wrong, they are protected.

Why can't you replace the wall units with more wall units? Might be a lot cheaper way to go.

Everything works. AC wall units are ok (obnoxiously loud), and really all I needed in the summer were ceiling fans. The problem is the winter. The three electric baseboards and one living room blower unit are garbage. They work, but the output is not at all sufficient for heating the unit. I have no idea how any previous owners were fine with it over the winter (perhaps because of the cost of upgrading it?); it's arguably uninhabitable in winter. I've talked with other residents with the same problem and they said they walk around in jackets with electric blankets. Nicer units have split systems and heated flooring. 

I have considered other wall units with a heating element, but perhaps I'm better off not even replacing those.

Is there any legal liability I should be concerned with in selling as is? Does it even need to be sold as is if everything works, but is insufficient?

Someone told me I should consider suing the home inspector to cover the cost.

Telecaster

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Re: Hated condo needs HVAC. What to do?
« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2020, 12:32:11 PM »
Someone told me I should consider suing the home inspector to cover the cost.

Lousy advice.  Home inspectors are obligated to see if the HVAC works.  That is, if turns on and off.   

Omy

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Re: Hated condo needs HVAC. What to do?
« Reply #11 on: January 25, 2020, 12:51:18 PM »
I agree with doing the minimum to get the heat working (there's probably a contractor in the community who knows how to keep these units going) and provide a home warranty for the buyer when you sell. You will not be able to get away with renting it out as-is if its inhabitable in the winter.

In my state, you need to disclose if there are are any latent defects that could affect health or safety - even if you sell "as-is". Lack of heat would count as something you would need to disclose if you can't get it working.

Cranky

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Re: Hated condo needs HVAC. What to do?
« Reply #12 on: January 25, 2020, 01:36:20 PM »
What kind of winter temperatures are you talking about?

six-car-habit

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Re: Hated condo needs HVAC. What to do?
« Reply #13 on: January 26, 2020, 09:43:22 PM »
 Can you find 3 baseboard electric units to replace the originals with [ same size] , and the living room blower unit [ Kadet style ]  - buy them yourself, and then hire a licensed electrician to perform the wiring swap. ??

 Don't expect to get anything more than you paid for the home inspection if you sue, there is likely a clause in your contract saying they are only liable for the cost of the inspection, and nothing else.