Profile picture for ini2011

home inspection question

I just had a home inspection.  The home had 'new ac' unit listed in listing and we were told it was new, but during home inspection I was told the unit was not new and was put in when home was built 12 years ago. He said it looks like the coil was replaced 7 years ago.  The new ac was was used in my decision on price to offer, and I accepted an offer at a higher price than I had asked for.  Should I accept this or ask for a reduction in price of home since I was under the impression the ac unit was new.   
  • September 03 2013 - US
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Answers (6)

Profile picture for Blue Nile
To get an approximate price of the equipment, you would need to know the size of the unit (how many tons) and if it is a split system or package unit.

You can quickly do a Google search to get approximate prices of various sized units.  In most cases, it is substantially less than $5k for residential, but again, it depends on the size of the unit, which is sized based on the house size and the climate zone, and the efficiency of the building envelope (insulation R-value, window size and U-value...)

(You also need to know if heat is built into the package, or if the house is heated separately.  Size of heating is given in BTU, not "tons").

By the way, there really are only 4 things that give out on the units:
1) coil (gets a leak due to corrosion)
2) compressor (including the motor)
3) fan bearings
4) belts, if belt driven

Of course the enclosure will eventually rust out too...
  • September 04 2013
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Profile picture for ini2011
We spoke to them and were waiting for documentation on new unit, but from speaking with them it looks like only the coil was replaced. They had stated new ac unit in the contract.  What is the price difference from getting coil replaced compared to whole system.  The home inspector also said it looks like only the coil was replaced.  I do have home inspection contingency.
  • September 04 2013
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Your agent should have you fill out a Inspection contingency release form. That's where I'd start. It's different state to state but in TN we have a time frame in which you can get out of the contract based on the inspection or ask for changes or repairs. If it was me I'd dbl check how it was marketed and how I was told the AC was new. I'd give a pass if it was under 18months old but 7-12 years is just ridiculous. It sounds like someone told someone something that was wrong. Most of the time I find people aren't lying but ignorant. If you were my client I would recommend in the release to ask for either the price to be reduced or the hvac to be replaced or 5 years of home warranty that covers the hvac. Take a picture of the plate and send a copy of the inspection.  Be prepared to walk from the deal though because that's a major gut shot to the seller. Most of the time the home inspection release get's sent back with 1k of nickel and dime'ing repairs. Most importantly dbl check anything else they may have told you. If they were wrong once, good chance they would be wrong again. 

  • September 04 2013
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Profile picture for Blue Nile
12 years old for an AC unit is not "new".  Even 7 years old is not "new".  And replacing the coil on a condensing unit or fan-coil unit is not "new" either.

Is the A/C a package unit or spit system?  The manufacture date will be stamped on each major item.  If they listed it as "new", you are entitled to "new" at your offer price.  On the other hand, if the fan coil unit of a split system is 1 year old, and the condensing unit was 12 years old... it is a "new" unit.

You should take photos of the nameplates of the equipment and submit it as backup for your request for a price reduction or replacement of the unit.
  • September 04 2013
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What does your agent advise, ini2011?
  • September 03 2013
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That can get a bit tricky.  Were you notified in writing in regards to the AC unit?  If so, you should be able to back out of the contract.  However, at the end of the day you would have to decide if a renegotiation would be worth the possibility of losing the property.
  • September 03 2013
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